What Rights Do You Have When You’re Arrested?

If you are arrested, you have a variety of legal rights. First, if a police officer wants to ask you any questions (other than your name and address) following your arrest, the officer must tell you of your Miranda rights. Miranda rights are constitutional rights that include the right to remain silent, the right to stop answering questions, the right to an attorney, and the right for you to be appointed an attorney if you can’t afford one.

If you are arrested, you also have the right to know why you are being arrested and what types of charges are pending against you. You may have been arrested on a warrant, and if so, you have the right to see the warrant after your arrest and to see what charges are contained in the warrant.

It’s also important that you be given the right to contact a friend or family member to let him or her know you’ve been arrested. Although movies and television lead people to think they only get one phone call, that’s not true – you should be allowed more calls if necessary to reach someone. You also have the right to have your attorney present if you are being put in a line-up or are being asked to submit to a physical test or a chemical test.

If you are arrested, you will be anxious to get out of jail as soon as possible. You have the right to be brought before a court as soon as practical after being arrested. You also have the right to a reasonable bail or bond, unless you are charged with a capital crime.