An arrest on criminal charges is stressful at best and a potential disaster for your future at worst. It's important that you understand how to respond when you are arrested to help protect your rights. One of the things that you should think about is your right to an attorney. Your Miranda Rights include a statement about your right to an attorney, but most people don't fully understand what that means. Here are some of the things that you should know.
You Have A Right To Legal Representation
If you are arrested on suspicion of a crime, you have a right to have legal representation with you before you are questioned by police. When you are arrested, even if you have not been read your rights, you can exercise your right to an attorney.
You Must Verbally State Your Request
If you've decided to exercise your right to an attorney, you need to be sure that you express that verbally. In order to make it clear that you are exercising your right to legal representation, you must tell the officer in question that you will not answer questions without your lawyer. As soon as you ask for a lawyer, any questioning must stop right away.
You Can Call Your Attorney If You Have One
When you opt to exercise your right to an attorney, you have the right to call any attorney that you have already established a relationship with. If you have worked with a criminal defense attorney in the past, you can ask that a call be placed to that specific lawyer.
You Can Have An Attorney Appointed If You Need One
Just because you don't have an established relationship with an attorney doesn't mean that you don't have the opportunity for legal representation. In fact, even if you cannot afford an attorney, you have the legal right to have an attorney appointed for you. These public defenders operate on your behalf but you are not obligated to pay them. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you can ask for a public defender when you invoke your right to legal representation.
As soon as you exercise your right to an attorney, you must stop answering any questions at all until your lawyer says otherwise. Remember that any information you provide can be used against you in court, and answering questions before your lawyer arrives may be interpreted as forfeiting your right to legal representation.
For more information, contact a firm like The Ching Law Firm, PLLC.Share