Being arrested can be a traumatizing event. You may not understand what is happening and may not be thinking clearly. It may also be hard to remember your rights during this process. Read below for some need-to-know information if you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation of being arrested.
Remember your rights
Because the criminal process can result in the deprivation of a person's freedom, criminal procedures are very strict on law enforcement. Some important rights that you should keep in mind include:
- Miranda rights – After your arrest, the arresting law enforcement officer must read you your rights, known as your Miranda rights. One of the important rights you have is to remain silent so that you do not incriminate yourself. While you may feel the urge to proclaim your evidence, law enforcement may take anything you say out of context to try to catch you in a lie or to try to prove you committed the crime.
- Right to refuse – If law enforcement does not have a warrant, they may try to bypass this by asking for consent to search you, your home or your vehicle. Remember your right to refuse to provide such consent and to hold law enforcement to the higher standard of acquiring a warrant before conducting a search.
- Right to legal counsel – The only thing that you should say to law enforcement after an arrest is to state that you want to contact a lawyer. Staying silent after you are arrested cannot be used against you in a criminal case.
Process of arrest in Tennessee
An arrest may occur under a variety of situations. Law enforcement may see you do something illegal and may arrest you at the time. They may have an arrest warrant and take you in. After an arrest, the usual process includes:
- Processing – You will be taken to a detention facility for processing. This process involves fingerprinting you, photographing you and having your information entered into a criminal database.
- Bond – A bond is set for your charges.
- Arraignment – If you are unable to afford bond, your arraignment occurs in jail. If you did pay bond, you are given a court date to next appear for your arraignment.
First phone call to a lawyer
As soon as possible, contact a criminal defense lawyer for help. Your lawyer will want to be able to find out where you are and what type of charges you are facing. However, phone calls are usually recorded when you are in jail, so it is important not to reveal any confidential information. Some information to provide during your first phone call to a criminal defense lawyer include:
- Your name
- The law enforcement agency that arrested you
- The jail where you are currently located or your address if you have already been released
- The charges against you
Contact our experienced Tennessee criminal defense lawyers for help
Remembering your rights and asserting them can have a significant impact on your defense. Having competent legal counsel is also critical to protecting your legal rights and your freedom. Contact Dotson & Taylor Attorneys at Law in Murfreesboro online or by calling (615) 890-1982.