Tips for Protecting Your Rights if you are Arrested

by : Patrick Adams

Learn your rights. The actions a person takes and the statements a person makes prior to and following an arrest can have a huge impact on your case!

1. Most importantly: Remain Silent! If you are being questioned chances are good you are a suspect and they are gathering evidence against you. Law enforcement will offer you encouragement to cooperate and tell you things will go easier on you if you talk to them, however, doing this may put your rights at risk and jeopardize your case! DO NOT ANSWER QUESTIONS WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY!

2. If they read or tell you your Miranda rights, they suspect you have committed a crime. Just as when an officer merely approaches and questions you, you have the right, if you are stopped, to refuse to answer any questions if the answer would tend to incriminate you. Also, if you are only being stopped, you can refuse to allow an officer to search your person. Further, anything you say can be used as evidence against you. Sometimes people think that what they are saying won't incriminate them, when in fact, what they say provides a link in a chain of information that could incriminate them.

3. You may be arrested by a police officer who personally saw you violate any state statute, city ordinance or federal law. The law may be a serious crime (a felony) or a lesser offense (a misdemeanor) or when there is a warrant for your arrest, whether or not you are aware of the warrant.

4. If you are arrested, do not argue with or resist the police. Arguing or resisting the police will not help you; it may increase your chances that the police will arrest you and bring criminal charges against you. It probably also will give them grounds to bring even more criminal charges against you, and it may make it harder for you to get out of jail on bail if you are charged. Once officers no longer have grounds to detain you, they should tell you that you are free to go.

5. If you are arrested you have rights that you should be aware of:

The right to remain silent and not answer any questions at all

The right to know that if you waive (give up) your right to remain silent and do answer questions, the police can use your answers against you in a court to get you convicted. Even if you begin to answer questions, you have the right to stop answering questions at any time and to speak with an attorney;

You have the right to speak privately with an attorney before you answer any questions or sign anything If you cannot afford an attorney and if the crime for which you have been arrested has jail time as a possible penalty, you have a right to have an attorney appointed for you to represent you at no cost to you before being questioned, and to have that attorney present with you during any questioning to which you may later agree to submit. Remember, you cannot be penalized for refusing to answer an officer's questions. If you try to cooperate by answering questions while you are being held in police custody, you may create difficulties for your lawyer in defending you later on. ALWAYS ASK TO SPEAK TO A LAWYER.

If you find yourself questioned or arrested it is important for you to be aware of your rights. Guilty or innocent, it is important for you to adhere to them in order for your attorney to provide you with the best defense possible.

For more information concerning your rights please visit our website at Adams Law office is located at 2 W. 6th St. Suite 500 Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119 or we can be reached at 918-587-8700. Our firm specializes in the defense of serious criminal offenses throughout Oklahoma.