What Are My Legal Rights During an Arrest or Investigation?

Being charged or arrested for a crime can be an extremely stressful and upsetting experience. While it is essential that you cooperate with law enforcement during an arrest and an investigation, it is also essential to understand that you have legal rights during every stage of the criminal process.

If you are arrested, police may not use excessive force during the arrest process. However, what counts as excessive force will depend on the nature of the crime committed and the circumstances of the “use of force” laws where you were arrested. According to Georgia law, a police officer can only use force if necessary to make an arrest.

During an arrest, you have the following legal rights:

  • You have the right to ask the arresting officer for identification, including the police officer’s name and badge number.
  • You have the right to be informed of the crime you are charged for.
  • You do not have to allow police to search your home or vehicle if they do not have a search warrant. However, police have the legal right to search you or the person being arrested and the area within the arrested person’s reach to protect a suspect from escaping or destroying evidence.
  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Once arrested, you have the right to make a phone call.

What Rights Do I Have When Being Questioned by Police?

The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states that you can remain silent when being questioned by police if answering would incriminate you. Police must also issue a Miranda warning, which states the following:

  • You have the right to remain silent.
  • Anything you say can and will be used against you in court.
  • You have the right to an attorney and to have them present while being questioned.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to represent you.
  • You can stop the interview at any time.

What if My Rights Have Been Violated?

If you feel that your legal rights have been violated during an arrest or while being questioned by police, you should not argue, resist, run away, or obstruct the officer, even if you are innocent. This may harm your case going forward. Write down everything you can remember about your interaction with the officer, including their name, badge number, and vehicle license plate number.

If you were injured, seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. You should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can protect your legal rights and assist you with a formal complaint as soon as possible.

Our Savannah Criminal Defense Lawyers at Kicklighter Law Represent Clients Who Are Facing Criminal Charges

Our Savannah criminal defense lawyers at Kicklighter Law can protect your legal rights if you have been charged with a crime. If your rights were violated in any way, we can help. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 912-754-6003 or contact us online. Located in Springfield, Georgia, we serve clients in Effingham County, Savannah, and the surrounding areas.