Being arrested is something hard to prepare for. If you've never been arrested before, you might not know what to do or what to say. You have probably heard about your Miranda Rights, which should be read to you at the time of arrest. Your Miranda Rights are read to inform you of your rights when being detained. Of most concern to you at the time of arrest is your right to remain silent. When prosecuting criminals, the court bears the burden of proof, meaning the prosecution has to prove you committed the crime you were arrested for. At the time of arrest, you will likely be caught off guard, stressed and it might feel like you are being unfairly treated. In this circumstance, it is very hard to know what is OK to say and what may be held against you in court. Your right to remain silent, or plead the Fifth Amendment, ensures you have time to prepare any defense, alone or with the help of an attorney you either hire or is appointed to you. While it may seem like a good idea to explain your self at the time of arrest, it is very unlikely to stop the arrest so what you say may only work against your favor. Exercising your right to remain silent is not a guilty plea and will not automatically convict you. It is a good idea to always wait to speak to an attorney before you explain your defense. An experienced criminal defense attorney will listen to your story and know how to build a strong defense for the court. If you have been read your rights and decide to talk to the arresting officer anyways, you can stop talking at any point to wait to speak to an attorney but ideally, you would stop yourself before you say anything incriminating. Technically, you must be read your Miranda Rights at the time of arrest but police don't always do so. Not being read your rights doesn't mean the arrest was wrongfully done, it may just mean that the officer didn't intend on asking you questions. If they later decide to interrogate you under custody, then you will be read your Miranda Rights. You may be asked questions before being "Mirandized" that you will have to answer, such as personal identification information so they know they are arresting the right person.
If you have been arrested and have questions about your rights, The Law Offices of Christopher Martens can help. Contact Visalia area attorney Christopher Martens for knowledgeable counsel in Tulare, Fresno and Kings counties. We will make sure you are fully aware of your rights. Contact our offices in Hanford and Visalia at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss your case.