What Are Your Rights?

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Being arrested for any type of crime can be an intimidating experience; simply being stopped or frisked by police can be nerve-wracking. Unfortunately, many people stopped or arrested by police do not realize that they have certain inalienable rights. If you do not know your rights, how do you know if and when they are being violated? Immediately after police arrest you, contact an experienced attorney. He or she can explain to you and protect the following rights:

  • To remain silent— Police officers face many dangers. In order to perform their duty and to protect the community, law enforcement officials may approach you and ask you questions. However, while you are encouraged to cooperate with police, you have the right to refuse to answer any questions. You have the right to remain silent and you should do so until you have a chance to speak to an attorney.
  • To counsel — You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you. Moreover, all police questioning must stop the moment you request an attorney.
  • To be free from unreasonable searches and seizures — The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. In general, the police cannot search your home without your consent or without a search warrant.

If you or your loved one is arrested for a drug crime, white-collar crime or other offense, seek competent legal help immediately.