While you may think the time will never come when you are arrested for a crime, the fact is strange things can happen at any time. Thus, should you find yourself being arrested by police for even what may be considered a minor crime, it is still crucial you know your rights in these situations. Otherwise, you may have police and even prosecutors forcing you into making mistakes that could derail your defense before it even begins. When arrested for a minor crime, here are four rights you always have in these situations.
Right to Remain Silent
When you are arrested, always remember you have the right to remain silent. Although police may try to pressure you into talking, you are not required to do so. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you by police, so choose your words carefully or simply stay silent until the time is right to talk.
Right to Legal Counsel
Even if police are trying to convince you the crime for which you were arrested is so minor you don’t need legal representation, don’t believe them. In these situations, you have the right to be represented by a criminal defense lawyer who can be present with you during any and all questioning. By keeping this in mind, you can avoid making statements that will hurt your case.
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
No matter how much police may try to convince you the evidence against you is overwhelming, don’t assume this means you will automatically be found guilty. In fact, you have the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and you should always work with a skilled criminal defense lawyer to use this to your advantage.
Right to Confront Witnesses
When you have been arrested for a crime, one of the most important tools police and prosecutors will use to gain a conviction is witness statements and testimony. As the defendant, you have the legal right to not only have your criminal defense lawyer issue subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify, but also the right to confront those witnesses and cross-examine them in court.
When you have been arrested, no crime may seem minor to you at that moment. However, since even minor crimes can include jail sentences and fines, you should always approach these situations with diligence and good judgement. To do so, know your rights and hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately.