Help, I’ve been arrested!!

If you’ve been arrested you need to know that you have certain rights. Furthermore, any and all conversations you have with a criminal defense attorney are confidential communications and in almost all instances they cannot be offered against you as evidence.

Right to remain silent

Any statements that you make after you have been arrested may be used against you to prosecute you for crimes in a court of law. These statements may be statements that you make to law enforcement, co-defendant, or even friends. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees you the right to remain silent in criminal cases, and not make any statements that tend to incriminate you. This right comes into play if you are arrested by the police for a criminal offense. Your silence cannot be used against you in prosecution for crime you are alleged to have committed. You must exercise this right by stating that you do not wish to speak to law enforcement. Once you have invoked this right law enforcement must immediately cease to question you. If you have invoked this right and law enforcement continues to interrogate you, you may be able to have those statements suppressed. Any statement that you make to any other individual may be used against you regardless of this right. It is advisable not to speak to any person other than a criminal defense attorney . Furthermore, if you voluntarily make statements after invoking your right to remain silent, those statements may be admissible against you.

Right to an attorney

If you are arrested you have the right to representation by a criminal defense attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney the court will appoint one for you. You also have the right to have your criminal defense attorney present during questioning by law enforcement. This right comes into play when you are arrested by law enforcement and you must exercise this right by stating that you wish to speak with a criminal defense attorney. If you are in custody, family or friends can hire a criminal defense attorney for you with your permission.

Right to reasonable bail

The Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees you reasonable bail. Bail is generally determined by a bail schedule which lists bail for each type of offense. There are other factors which may come in to play such as any enhancement to the crime charged against you, or your failure to appear on prior cases. Additionally, if you are on felony probation, you may have no bail on your probation violation. In certain instances you or your attorney can secure your release on your own recognizance, either before or after your first court appearance. It is also possible that your or your attorney may have your bail reduced. This is determined on a case by case basis. Bail may be posted by way of cash (in most instances) or by way of a bail bond which can be secured through a bail bondsman.

Right to be arraigned within 72 hours of your arrest

You have the right to be brought before a magistrate and be arraigned on your charges within 72 hours of your arrest, excluding weekends and court holidays. If you have been denied this right you may have the right to an immediate release. Your criminal defense attorney can determine if this right has been denied.

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