What Are My Rights After An Arrest?
Being placed under arrest is not only an intimidating experience but it can leave an individual to feel stripped of his or her rights. However, your rights are guaranteed to you and the way in which you invoke these rights is crucial to the outcome of the arrest. Most of these rights are derived from the Constitution of the United States of America, while others are based on state statutes or procedures.
1. You have the right to remain silent.
Most people are all too familiar with the first sentence of the Miranda Warning, “You have the right to remain silent.” Law enforcement officers are required to read the Miranda Warning before interrogating you. However, officers are not always required to read the Miranda Warning and it is not uncommon for law enforcement officers to convince you that your refusal to answer questions indicates lack of cooperation or dishonesty. This type of intimidation tactics is one of the main reasons why it is important to invoke your right to remain silent. The right to remain silent also refers to the right to not volunteer information and the right to stop answering questions at any time.
2. You have the right to an attorney.
The last portion of a Miranda Warning consists of informing you that you have the right to have an attorney, and it is wise to invoke this right because an attorney will ensure the protection of your rights and guide you through the complex legal process. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you.
3. You have the right to be informed of the crime you are being charged with.
You have a right to be informed of the crime you are being charged with. You also have a right to not be detained for an unreasonable amount of time without being charged with a crime. In Pennsylvania, you cannot be detained for longer than 48 hours without being charged with a crime.
4. You have a right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.
The government cannot take an unreasonable amount of time in granting you a trial after you are charged with a crime. In Pennsylvania, if the defendant is not in custody, a trial must commence within a year after the criminal complaint and if the defendant is in custody, a trial must commence within 180 days after the complaint is filed.
5. You have the right to be free from excessive bail and fines.
Another important reason for having an aggressive defense attorney is to ensure that you are not being issued excessive bail or fines. Your attorney will know the state guidelines in the matter to ensure this right is protected.
6. You have the right to be treated fairly, humanely, and to be free from cruel and unusual punishment.
Being placed under arrest and put in jail do not seem like the most humane of conditions, however, if you are being forced to endure cruel and unusual punishment while in custody, speaking to an attorney can ensure that such violations stop.
7. Rights while in custody
If you are unable to bond out and have to remain in jail for any time, you will have certain rights depending on the jail you are in but you will be entitled to a phone call, to correspond and visit with your attorney, and you will have access to legal materials.