There has always been some sort of tension between the general public and authority figures in the United States. The perception of law enforcement can quickly change when events such as police shootings take place or reports of police officer negligence are made available to the public. While an encounter with a police officer can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, it is important for you to know your rights in these situations. Improper actions could result in serious criminal charges, such as resisting arrest or noncooperation. Listed below are a few important facts you should know about interacting with the police:
- You can get in trouble for resisting the officer. One of the worst things you could do when a police officer stops you is to not cooperate with him or her. After being stopped, it is okay to ask if you are free to go; if the officer says no, that means you are being detained or arrested. Being detained is not the same thing as being arrested, but compliance with the officer is still required. Noncompliance or directly disobeying an officer can result in criminal charges that carry fines or jail time.
- There are certain questions that you must answer if police ask. Most people know that they have the right to remain silent if a police officer begins to ask questions. However, there are certain questions that may require an answer. For example, if you are detained or arrested, an officer may ask for your legal name, age, date of birth, address, or Social Security number. If you do not provide this information, additional trouble and delays in the arrest process may result.
- Police must read your Miranda Rights. Although a majority of Americans may be aware of their Miranda Rights, there is often some confusion about the legalities attached to these rights. Police officers will have to read your Miranda Rights, but only after you have been arrested and before they begin to question you. Your Miranda Rights include your Constitutional right to remain silent, a statement that anything you say can and will be used against you, and your right to an attorney.
- Your right to remain silent is a valuable tool. Once you have been read your Miranda Rights, you are not required to provide any information, even if police try to question you. In many cases, it is best to wait for your attorney before you speak. Any information that is revealed because of force by an officer may be inadmissible in court.
A DuPage County Criminal Defense Attorney Can Further Advise You
Being arrested can turn into a long and complicated process, even if you have not been charged or convicted of a crime. Any arrest will create a criminal record that can be seen on a background check. If you have been arrested in Illinois, you should contact a skilled Wheaton, IL criminal defense lawyer. Violations of proper procedures during an arrest could make any evidence or confession inadmissible. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at 630-580-6373.