Being arrested for the first time in your life is likely to be scary and worrying. You may fear what will happen, the rights of the law enforcement officials to interrogate you, and whether you may accidentally do something that makes you look guilty. If you believe that you are at risk of being arrested in the near future, it is a good idea to prepare yourself by understanding the laws that are in place.
Everyone who is arrested has certain legal rights. These rights are fixed, no matter the circumstances. The following is an overview of the step-by-step process that you can expect during an arrest.
When does an arrest officially occur?
A person can be placed under arrest when they are suspected to have committed a crime. An arrest occurs when law enforcement officials take you into custody, and it means that you are no longer free to walk away from the person that arrested you.
You rights must be explained to you
All those who have been arrested must have their rights explained to them before they are questioned. These are known as your Miranda rights. You will be told that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you do say can and will be used against you in court. You’ll be informed of your right to an attorney, and that one will be appointed to you if you cannot afford one.
Once your rights have been explained to you, you will likely be questioned. It is up to you whether you remain silent or not. It’s common for those arrested to not speak until they have consulted with an attorney.
A full-blown search of your person and immediate surroundings can occur after an arrest has taken place. Property such as your car may also be searched.
If you believe that you may be arrested in the near future, make sure that you gain legal knowledge to help in your defense strategy.