Getting arrested can be a traumatic experience. It can impact your career, family, and even your financial assets. This makes it all the more important to understand your rights. By knowing whether or not an officer committed a violation during or after your arrest, you can provide your defense attorney with crucial information that can help your defense strategy. Discover some of the most common violations that may occur during your arrest and see if any of them apply to your case.
1. Were You Given the Right to Remain Silent?
Stemming from the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution, it’s important to understand that you have the right to remain silent during an arrest. Furthermore, it’s necessary for the arresting officers to verbally inform you of this right. The purpose of this right is to ensure that police cannot coerce an unlawful confession out of any suspect. Ultimately, it’s vital to know that anything you say during an arrest can be used against you in court.
2. Did They Honor Your Request for an Attorney?
Every suspect has the right to an attorney during their court case and while being questioned by police. This not only protects against maltreatment from police but is advantageous to the defendant due to the attorney’s expertise. Even if the attorney is free and appointed by the court system, their knowledge of local laws and court etiquette will be a major advantage as you defend your case. If you were denied the right to an attorney at any time, that violation of your rights may help your case.
3. Did they Question You When Your Lawyer Was Absent?
If you’ve already had an attorney appointed to your case, it’s illegal for the police to question you in their absence. Police know that a suspect is more likely to divulge incriminating information when their attorney is away, so this right protects the suspect from further questioning that could be harmful to their case. This right shows just one of the many advantages of hiring an attorney upon your arrest.
4. Did You Suffer Violence or Inhumane Treatment?
With the increased availability of cameras in recent years, numerous videos exist showing brutality at the hands of police. While sometimes police are authorized to use violence to subdue a suspect, unnecessary brutality should never be tolerated. Note that this right doesn’t end at the time of arrest – it also includes not being mistreated or deprived of food and water while in your holding cell. If you feel that this right was violated, it could be instrumental in forming a defense for your case.
5. Were You Charged Before Being Held in a Jail Cell?
In some cases, police may have an incentive to hold a suspect for questioning for a long period of time. However, it’s crucial to know that unless you’ve been charged with a crime, you must be released from their custody within a specific amount of time. This means that you can only be held without charges for 48 or 72 hours depending on the state in which the arrest occurred. If you were held unnecessarily for an extended period of time, that could be vital information for your defense attorney.
6. Were You Given a Speedy Trial?
Every suspect has a right to what is known as a speedy trial. This means that the police cannot hold you in jail for an abnormally long period of time before granting you a fair trial. Four factors contribute to whether you were denied a speedy trial:
- Whether the delay was uncommonly long
- Whether the government or defendant was more to blame for the delay
- Whether the defendant asserted their right to a speedy trial
- Whether the defendant suffered prejudice as a result of this delay
While timeframes for a speedy trial claim vary, it’s generally accepted in Texas that if you’re held for almost a year without a trial, your rights may have been violated.
Know Your Rights for the Best Chance of a Favorable Verdict
Going into a trial situation without knowing your rights puts you at a significant disadvantage when defending your case. Instead, take note of these rights, because any violations can provide your attorney with valuable information for forming an effective defense strategy.
Call Phillip A. Linder for Experienced Legal Help in Dallas, TX
Your chances of achieving a successful verdict are much greater if you hire an experienced attorney, especially one who’s experienced in the local laws of the city in which you were arrested. Phillip A. Linder has over 25 years of experience arguing in the courts of Dallas. If you want to maximize your chances of success, call Phillip A. Linder and let his experience work towards a desirable verdict for your case. Contact Phillip Linder today for a free consultation.