Understanding Your Rights During an Arrest

Life is unpredictable, and you never know when you might end up in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you are arrested, it is critical to understand your rights during an arrest so that you can protect yourself and avoid saying something that you don’t actually mean. What are your rights, and how can you take advantage of them during a police encounter?

You Can Stay Silent

When confronted by law enforcement, one of your rights is the right to remain silent. Maryland is not a “stop and identify” state, so as long as there is no reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime, are currently committing a crime, or are about to commit a crime, you are not required to identify yourself if asked by police. If you are being arrested due to suspicion of having done one of the three things listed, you should answer any questions about basic information like your name or address. However, you do not need to say more. It’s crucial to exercise this right to avoid self-incrimination or saying something that could be misconstrued.

You Can Have a Lawyer There

You have the right to an attorney during all phases of the legal process, including questioning and court proceedings. It’s important to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest to ensure your rights are protected. Make sure that you tell your attorney anything that you already told the police so that they understand what information has already been disclosed. Remember that jail and police station lines are recorded, so you should not say anything incriminating over them.

You Can Know Why

Upon your arrest, one of your rights during an arrest is the right to know why you are being detained. Law enforcement officers are required to inform you of the charges against you. If they fail to do so, you should ask for clarification. You cannot be arrested for no reason, and officers cannot hide the reason you are being taken into custody from you.

You Can Refuse a Warrantless Search

In most cases, law enforcement officers need a warrant to conduct a search of your person, vehicle, or property. You have the right to refuse a search if they do not have a warrant. However, they may conduct a search without a warrant under certain circumstances, such as if they have probable cause or if you consent to the search. If an officer asks to take a look in your car during a traffic stop and they do not have probable cause or a warrant, you do not need to give them permission to do so. Remember that anything they find can and will be used against you.

Partner with an Experienced Defense Attorney at The Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence

If you or a loved one are concerned about finding the right defense lawyer for your case, choose an experienced firm like the Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence to give you the help you need.  Please give us a call at 443.352.3201. Skype and telephone consultation are both available to clients.

Contact Us

    Law Office of Elizabeth Anu Lawrence, LLC.
  • Address: 90 Painters Mill Road Suite 201 Owings Mills, Maryland 21117
  • Phone: (443) 352-3201

  • Email: info@elawrencelaw.com

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