Getting arrested is a frightening and stressful process. If you’re arrested in the State of Virginia, keep in mind that you have legal rights and that police procedures may not violate those rights in any part. A criminal defense attorney in Henrico , Virginia will be able to help you protect those rights, but you may not have the opportunity to speak with a lawyer until some time after the arrest.
Note, too, that these legal rights only apply once an arrest has been made. If a police officer is interrogating you and you reveal potentially incriminating information, this information may be used in any subsequent court action against you even though the officer did not apprise you of your legal rights before questioning you.
An important thing to keep in mind is that even if police pull you aside for questioning, you are not in custody until after a formal arrest has been made. That means you are under no obligation to answer any questions put to you and that you are free to walk away.
Once you’ve been taken into custody, however, you are no longer free to leave. Before any questioning can continue, arresting officers must apprise you aloud of your rights:
• You may refuse to answer questions and remain silent
• If you do speak, what you say may be used as evidence in any subsequent court case brought against you
• You have the right to consult with an attorney and to have an attorney present during all present and future questioning
• The court will appoint an attorney to represent you if you cannot afford one
• If you begin answering questions without attorney representation, you can stop at any time and ask that an attorney is present
These rights are known collectively as the Miranda rights, so-named for the prestigious 1966 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Miranda vs. Arizona.
Under certain circumstances, police have the right to perform a pat-down frisk of your person before any formal arrest has been made, but they may not perform a comprehensive search of your body or your property unless they have reasonable cause to suspect that illegal activity has taken place. The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects citizens against unreasonable searches.
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Richmond, VA, Law Office of David A.C. Long will provide you with legal support, perspective, and representation aimed at helping you achieve a favorable resolution to the legal situation you’re facing.