And here we are at the third and final installment of my three-part series of Police Encounters. I am defense attorney, Leon Matchin, and we’re just taking some time to discuss different confrontation settings you might have with law enforcement officials. If you missed the last two blogs on Part I: Field Inquiry and Part II: Terry Stops, you can find either by clicking on their respective titles. Today’s topic of conversation deals with arrest.
An arrest is made when the police have probable cause that the individual is engaged in illegal activity. Probable cause is defined as well grounded suspicion, meaning that the officer(s) is aware of facts that would lead an ordinary person to assume that the arrestee has committed a crime. Provided the police can demonstrate that they had “well grounded suspicion” of criminality, the Courts will approve the arrest. However, an arrest is a mere allegation (complaint). In order for the State to convict an individual of wrongdoing, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual charged is guilty—and that is a much higher standard than probable cause (well grounded suspicion).
Always remember that you have the right to remain silent in the event of an arrest. Keep in mind too that the police don’t necessarily always advise you on your Miranda rights—sometimes this is intentionally violated. Regardless of whether you are read them or not, whatever you say can still be used against you. Know that you have the right to refuse to answer their questions.
You can invoke your rights by simply saying, “I’m going to remain silent. I want to see a lawyer.” By making this statement, the law enforcement agents must cease their questioning and allow you to do so. Be wary of officers trying to trick you into answering them—it happens all the time. Simply don’t talk! Be polite, but don’t speak. Repeat the statement if necessary until you are allowed to contact someone.
In any situation where you have been arrested, ask to speak to your attorney and call me immediately at (732) 662-7658 so that we can develop the best strategy to counter the charges brought against you.
Thanks for tuning in to my Police Encounters series! Feel free to peruse my site to learn what areas of law I practice and don’t forget to check out my Success Stories tab to see what past clients have said. If you have any legal questions or an issue you’d like to discuss, give me a call at (732) 662-7658 or send me an email at [email protected] —I’m here to help.