Under Arrest: How To Exercise And Protect Your Rights
The criminal justice system is designed to be intimidating. Police officers will do everything they can to garner a confession. However, everyone has constitutionally guaranteed rights, and exercising those rights after you have been arrested can go a long way toward minimizing the potentially harsh consequences of a criminal conviction. At The Law Offices of Marion M. Moses, LLC, our attorney has more than 18 years of criminal law experience, including time spent as a prosecutor. We are dedicated to helping you establish a strong defense against all criminal charges.
Steps To Take Following An Arrest
Everyone has seen movies and television shows where a character is informed that they have the right to remain silent. This is not just used for dramatic purposes. You do indeed have the right to remain silent, and it is perhaps the most important thing you can do when you have been placed under arrest. Silence is not an admission of guilt, and while you cannot talk your way out of trouble, you can certainly talk your way into bigger trouble.
You also have the right to an attorney, and you should ask for representation as soon as possible. Do not agree to questioning without having a lawyer present. An attorney can help protect your rights and ensure that you do not say something when being interviewed by police that could be used against you. Once again, exercising this right is not an admission of guilt and can only improve your situation, or at least prevent it from getting worse.
DUI Arrests And Search Warrants
If you are arrested for suspicion of DUI, you should assert the rights mentioned above. It is worth noting that although you can refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test, you will immediately lose your driver’s license under South Carolina’s implied consent laws. However, you may refuse to submit to field sobriety tests without suffering additional consequences.
If the police ask to perform a search of your house or your vehicle, you do not have to grant them permission to perform the search unless they have a search warrant. If they do not have a warrant, send them away to get one. In the meantime, contact an attorney.