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Arrested For A Crime - Four Things To Keep In Mind



If you have been arrested for a crime, you are afforded protection under certain amendments to the United States Constitution.

  • You have the right to remain silent and the right to legal counsel.
  • You have the right to be informed of the charges brought against you.
  • You cannot be arrested without probable cause.
  • If probable cause exists, your Miranda rights will be read.

Probable Cause

You cannot be arrested unless there is probable cause, the standard by which a law enforcement agency has reasons to make an arrest. The Fourth Amendment requires that probable cause must exist for the issuance of an arrest warrant. Probable cause involves circumstances or evidence that would lead a prudent person to believe a crime has been committed.

Miranda Rights

If you have been arrested and taken into custody, law enforcement officers will attempt to question you with respect to a certain crime. They can use deceptive techniques or leading questions to obtain information from you. The Fifth Amendment protects you against self-incrimination. When you are taken into custody, you must be advised of your Miranda rights. In addition to your right to remain silent, you are advised that anything you say can be used against you in court. Miranda rights entitle you to legal representation. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed during your first court appearance. You have the right to have your attorney present during police questioning.

The Arrest Process and The Elements to Understand

When you are arrested for a crime, you will be searched. Your premises or vehicle are also subject to search. Evidence found during a search will be confiscated for use at trial. After you are taken into custody, you will make an initial appearance before a judge during which the charges against you will be formally read. At your first appearance, you will be appointed an attorney if you cannot afford one. Your attorney will petition the court for bail or release pending trial.

What Should I do if I Have Been Arrested for a Crime?

If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, it is important to understand your rights. You are presumed innocent until you are convicted by a jury of your peers. It is important to remain silent. Do not speak to law enforcement personnel. Do not share information with friends or family members, as they may be called as witnesses to testify against you. After you have been arrested, you should immediately contact a criminal defense attorney to assist you with the defense of your case. Your attorney will review investigative reports and evidence collected by law enforcement agencies and may enter into plea negotiations with the prosecutor's office.