Criminal arrests can be harrowing experiences, but it is important to know that you do have rights under Illinois state and federal law. The following are essential things to know if you are arrested, including common errors to avoid. If you are placed under arrest and charged with an offense, you should keep all of these points in mind, and you should contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.
You Must be Read Your Miranda Rights
When you are arrested, you must be read your Miranda rights, which will inform you that you have the right to remain silent and that anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law. You must also be informed of your right to an attorney, even if you cannot afford one.
You Have Rights When You are in Police Custody, Even if You are Not Informed That You are Under Arrest
If you are placed in custody—in other words, if you are detained in any way by the police—you must be read your Miranda rights. Being in custody could mean being placed in handcuffs, but it could also mean being placed in the back of a police car with the door closed, or being told that you cannot leave the area.
You Should Never Attempt to Resist Arrest
Do not attempt to resist arrest, even if you are certain that you are being unfairly arrested. You could face charges for resisting arrest, and the situation could escalate.
You Should Avoid Saying Anything Until You Have Spoken with a Lawyer
Do not say anything at all until you have spoken with a lawyer. You should indeed remain silent, even if it is tempting to make a statement about your innocence or the unjustness of the arrest. The law enforcement official who arrests you might even try to suggest that only guilty people remain silent in order to convince you to waive your rights. You should avoid saying anything at all until you have spoken with a criminal defense lawyer about your situation.
You Should Hire a Lawyer
It may seem obvious, but you should have an experienced Chicago criminal defense attorney on your side from the very start. When you are “Mirandized,” you must also be informed of your right to an attorney, as we explained above. As soon as you are arrested, we can begin assessing your case and developing a defense strategy. Depending upon the facts of the case, it may even be possible to prevent criminal charges or to have charges against you dropped.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Chicago
At the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus, we represent clients in a wide variety of criminal defense cases, from DUIs and drug charges to violent crimes involving allegations of assault, battery, and weapons discharges. An experienced Illinois criminal defense lawyer at our firm can evaluate your case today. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus to learn more about how we may be able to assist you.