Got Arrested? These Are Your Legal Rights

You may never think that you’ll get arrested, but there is a significant portion of Americans who have had encounters with law enforcement. While we are a free country, there are still so many vague laws that can affect everyday Americans.

If you have committed a crime, of course, you can expect to get arrested faster than you think. Arrests might not always lead to convictions but they are a serious matter.

Whether you were arrested for a crime or you feel you were wrongfully arrested, you must know the legal rights that you have once arrested.

These legal rights will help you with the next steps after your arrest. Here’s what you should know.

The Miranda Warning

You might have heard of your Miranda Rights before. These came about in a historic Supreme Court case Miranda vs. Arizona. These rights require that the arresting officer must inform you of your rights during your arrest and before an interrogation. 

This is known as “The Miranda Warning” and states that the person arrested has the right to remain silent. This means that they don’t have to speak or answer legal questions until a formal interrogation process.

The Miranda Warning is an extension of the rights granted in the Fifth Amendment. This means that no citizen has to incriminate themselves.

Your Legal Rights

Apart from the warning, what are the other legal rights that Miranda Rights bring?

Make sure the arresting officer gives you the Miranda Warning before the interrogation. This is something to discuss with your attorney if they don’t do this.

Once they’ve given you the warning, you have to be aware of the consequences of not remaining silent. Any statement you make after you receive the Miranda Warning can get used against your defense in court.

For example, if you use threatening language toward the officer this will likely get brought up in court.

This includes anything you say during an interrogation or while in police custody. Regardless of why you were arrested, you have to think about what you say.

This is a scary incident whether you were rightfully or wrongfully arrested. You still want to govern your temper so that you don’t jeopardize your situation.

You also have the legal rights to hire a lawyer or opt for a public defender. Make sure you learn about both options to decide which one works best for you.

What You Should Do

If an officer tries to arrest you, they will likely explain why they are doing so. If they don’t, make sure to let your lawyer know. You want to comply and not resist arrest.

If you feel that the arrest is wrongful, you should still comply with the officer. You can always bring up this issue later with your lawyer.

Don’t ever use any force against the officer. In most cases, you won’t have to worry about an officer using force unless you initiate it. Again, if this isn’t the case you can discuss this with your lawyer.

As stressful as this situation is, you want to try to focus on the immediate. You want to have a recollection of the arrest process. This is especially crucial if you feel that it’s a wrongful arrest.

The best advice is to always follow the officer’s instructions. If you get arrested when there are others present, you want to depend on them as eyewitnesses. If you expect to get arrested, you might want to ask others to record the arrest for future reference.

Police Custody

After you get arrested, you will get placed in police custody. This will usually involve you getting held in a cell or private room in a police station. You will get to make one phone call while you are in police custody.

You want to think carefully about whom to call at this time. You might choose a bail bondsman or a lawyer.

Or you might want to speak to a close friend or family member to ask them a favor. Make sure you think about how this person can assist you in any way.

Whomever you call, they should be able to help you get out of your situation. For example, if you call a friend/family member, you might want them to find a lawyer or hire a bail bondsman.

36-Hour Rule and 48-Hour Rule

The 36-hour rule requires that the arrested person is brought to a judge within 36 hours after the day of their arrest. Legal holidays and Sundays aren’t included within this 36 hour period. These rules apply if you get arrested without a warrant.

If you get arrested with a warrant, then Sundays and holidays are counted within the 36 hour period.

There’s also the 48-hour rule. This means that from the time of arrest, a person cannot get held in police custody for more than 48 hours.

The only exception happens if a judge signs a complaint. This complaint gets signed if the judge believes that there’s probable cause for a charge.

If both the 36-hour rule and 48-hour rule get violated, a judge will likely request your immediate release. However, this doesn’t drop any charges.

If you felt that you were mistreated while in police custody, make sure to discuss this with your lawyer.

In the best case, your lawyer can fight to suppress statements made by you while in custody. There can also be rare cases where your lawyer can convince a judge to drop the charges altogether.

Choose a Bail Bondsman

Now that you know your legal rights, you are better prepared if you ever get arrested. While we hope this doesn’t happen, let this guide help you and your fellow citizens understand the rights that you have in such a situation.

Make sure you are aware of what happens and that you don’t break any rules. Don’t be aggressive to the police officer and remain silent until you speak to your lawyer.

Once you are in police custody, you’ll likely have the opportunity to post bail. If you cannot afford bail, you can take a loan — known as a ‘bail bond.’

We can help you with posting bail. Learn about our bail process if you need our assistance.