You were arrested—now what? Regardless of the circumstances surrounding your arrest, you should be aware of your rights. Most importantly: stay calm, don’t put up a fight, and contact an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible.
The Right to an Attorney
One of the most basic rights in the American criminal justice system is the right to an attorney. Always invoke this right the moment that you feel you’ve been placed under arrest, and remain silent until you are able to speak to your attorney. Once you’ve invoked this right, police are not permitted to interrogate you until your attorney arrives.
The attorneys of the Khonsari Law Group have represented countless criminal defendants following their arrests, and have gotten the charges dropped or reduced in many cases. If you have been arrested, you should speak with an experienced defense attorney about your case as soon as possible.
When you’re placed under arrest, the officer is required by law to inform you of your rights. This communication of rights by the officer is called a Miranda warning, and it should include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. The Miranda warning is meant to inform you that anything you say can and will be used against you in any legal proceedings. Therefore, your best option is to remain silent until you are able to communicate with an attorney.
Unsurprisingly, once arrested, the first thing to do is to invoke your right to an attorney. This is primarily to ensure that all of your rights are protected, including your right to remain silent, but also to gain assistance for the latter parts of your case. Having an attorney each step of the way when facing criminal charges can help ensure the best possible result.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Miranda v. Arizona established the requirement that police provide individuals under arrest with a reading of their rights. Under Miranda, police are also required to cease any and all interrogations once an individual has invoked his or her right to an attorney; and any statements made after invoking this right are inadmissible in court. However, police sometimes fail to follow proper procedure, and may continue an interrogation even after you request an attorney, so it is important to play it safe and remain silent until you are able to speak with your attorney.
Use of Force
A 2002 report, which only accounted for 59 percent of American police officers, documented 26,566 complaints made regarding excessive use of force by law enforcement officers. Of these complaints, eight percent (approximately 2,000 complaints) were found to be legitimate accusations of excessive force. 34 percent of the complaints were not sustained, indicating that there was not sufficient evidence to substantiate the complaint, and 23 percent resulted in exoneration.
During an arrest, or to prevent an escape, law enforcement officers may use force—but only when reasonably necessary. The keyword here is “reasonably.” Federal law prohibits an officer from using force unreasonably or excessively. Furthermore, an officer must cease the use of force after the reasonable threat that justified the use of force in the first place has passed. Consider the following scenario: you were resisting arrest, causing the arresting officer to use reasonable force against you. Following the officer’s use of force, you both verbally and physically surrendered to the officer. At this point, the officer may no longer continue using force against you, as you clearly no longer pose a threat to the officer or of escape.
Call the Khonsari Law Group to Discuss Your Case
If you were arrested and feel like police mistreated you, or that your arresting officer was unreasonable in using force, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss these concerns. Remember, when you are arrested for any crime, you have rights! Remain silent, and contact the Khonsari Law Group immediately at (727) 269-5300, or online, to get in touch with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.