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What are my rights if I was arrested and taken to the police station?

Updated: Mar 20, 2022

1. Not to answer questions. 2. To be told why you are being arrested and the charges against you. 3. To be told your constitutional rights ("Miranda" rights) before being questioned. 4. Contact, by telephone or otherwise, a responsible person, to tell them you have been arrested. 5. Refuse any physical or chemical test until a lawyer is present.


You CANNOT be penalized for refusing to answer an officer's questions. If you try to cooperate by answering questions while you are being held in police custody, you may create difficulties for your lawyer in defending you. ALWAYS ASK TO SPEAK TO A LAWYER.


What are my rights if I am arrested?

1. An officer who wants to ask you questions other than your name and address must advise you that you have a right not to answer the questions.

2. You have the right to be told why you are being arrested and the nature of the charges against you (the crime for which you are being arrested). If you are arrested on a warrant, you have the right to see the warrant within a reasonable time after your arrest, to read it and make certain your name appears on it, and to see the charge(s) against you.


3. You have the right to be told your constitutional rights ("Miranda" rights) before being questioned following your arrest. These Miranda rights are (a) the right to remain silent and not answer any questions, (b) the right to know that if you waive (give up) your right to remain silent and do answer questions, the police can use your answers against you in court, (c) the right to stop answering questions at any time and talk with an attorney, even if you have begun to answer questions, and (d) the right to speak privately with an attorney before answering any questions or signing anything. If you cannot afford an attorney and if the crime that prompted your arrest has jail time as a possible penalty, you also have a right to have an attorney appointed to represent you at no cost to you before being questioned and to have that attorney with you during any questioning to which you may later agree to submit.


4. You also have the right to contact, by telephone or otherwise, a responsible person, to tell him or her you have been arrested and what the charges are. You are not limited to one telephone call if more calls are needed to contact someone.


5. You have a right to refuse any physical or chemical test (such as a polygraph "lie detector," breathalyzer, intoxilyzer, field sobriety tests or physical performance tests such as walking a straight line or making other movements, the look-at-the-pen test, or mental ability tests like reciting the alphabet or doing math) until you can talk to your lawyer. You also have a right to have your attorney present at any line-up or other identification procedure in which you are viewed by possible eyewitnesses to a crime.


6. You have a right to reasonable bail or bond to secure your release from jail unless you are charged with a capital crime. Usually, a judge sets the bail or conditions of your release. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, and if no judge is available, the police may, at police headquarters, accept bail in accordance with rules established by the judge. You also have a right to be brought before a court as soon as is reasonably practicable after your arrest so that you can request a preliminary hearing to test the basis of your arrest and/or trial to determine your guilt or innocence.

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