Being arrested is a terrifying event for almost everyone and especially so if you did not commit the alleged offense. Unfortunately, many individuals are arrested under suspicious circumstances but are nevertheless innocent. Either way, it is important to understand how an arrest may play out, what your rights are if you are arrested, and to keep in mind what type of behavior will help get you through that situation without complicating it any further.
Be Patient and Understand Your Rights
It is first important to know that if placed under arrest, you must be patient with the process, as scary as it may be. When you are arrested, prosecutors do not necessarily have to bring charges immediately. If you are detained for an unreasonable period of time or indefinitely, it is generally considered a violation of your constitutional rights. However, the concept of definite and indefinite detention is fluid, and depends on the circumstances of the arrest.
Most such cases are handled under the Fourth Amendment, and case law provides for a “totality of circumstances” test that judges will use to determine if there is probable cause for an arrest and if the arrest is lawful. Judges will consider the length of time elapsed while in detention, the conditions of detention, and if and how many times the police read the arrested suspect his or her Miranda rights. For example, a detention of several days in a jail without formal charges after having been read your Miranda rights once during the initial arrest will more than likely be unlawful.
As many have seen in television and the movies, Miranda rights are a notice to the suspect that he or she has the right to remain silent because any statements made are admissible in a prosecution. Keep in mind that when placed under arrest, you are not excused from providing your name, address and age when asked by police officers. Other than this, you are not required to speak, and you should not. It is also important to understand that law enforcement does not necessarily need to have a warrant to conduct an arrest. This is particularly so in public places, where there is not the expectation of privacy that exists in one’s home.
Do Not Make It Worse
It is crucial to understand these aspects of arrest and detention so that you do not make a bad situation worse. Enduring the stress and uncertainty of an extended detention, without charges filed or even sometimes with repeated Miranda warnings or no Miranda warnings at all, can cause confusion. Disobeying law enforcement, resisting arrest, or simply becoming irritable and antagonistic can complicate you case and may even result in new charges.
Remain calm and do not speak except to demand the ability to exercise your right to speak to a lawyer. Improper conduct by law enforcement may even aid your defense, so it is important to make mental notes of the events that occur, and be sure to inform your lawyer as soon as possible.
If you are ever arrested, it is important to seek help from an experienced DuPage County criminal defense attorney right away. We will work hard to ensure your rights are fully protected at every stage of the process. Call 630-933-8400 for a free consultation at our office today.