Most of us aren’t aware of our rights during police questioning. For most people, this subject is very confusing. However, it’s always best to know your rights whenever you’re involved with the police. As American citizens, we all have rights. For example, the majority of people know they have the right to remain silent. Is this the only right you have in the middle of a police questioning? You may think that as long as you aren’t doing anything wrong, you can withhold your name. Like others, you may also believe that your freedom of speech allows you to say what you want to the police. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these issues.
Do You Have to Answer Questions Asked by The Police?
You are under no obligation to speak during a police investigation or during police questioning. This is a fundamental fifth amendment right given to all US citizens. Without probable cause, a police officer doesn’t have the right to stop and question individuals randomly. An officer may request information, but they cannot compel you to speak. Refusal to speak is under no circumstances reason for an arrest.
Do You Have to Identify Yourself?
So, if you are under no obligation to answer questions, that should mean you don’t have to identify yourself either. However, that is not always the case. For example, you are only subject to identify yourself if an officer believes you have committed an infraction. If an officer has probable cause and you refuse to state your identity, they consider this obstruction. More pointedly, it is lawful for an officer to compel you to state your name if they are issuing you a summons.
Can You Be Arrested for Swearing at an Officer?
Simply swearing at a police officer isn’t enough to warrant an arrest. This is even true during police questioning. Surprisingly, an officer cannot charge you with assault for calling them a dirty name. However, if you begin yelling and waving your arms about, they will consider these actions threatening. You could find yourself in handcuffs if you cannot control your actions.
Do You Have the Right to Be Mirandized?
Police officers are required to read your Miranda Rights. Is this always true? If you are in police custody or involved in police questioning, you have the right to have your Miranda rights read to you. If the officers present fail to read these rights, anything you say during questioning cannot be used as evidence.
Do You Have the Right to An Attorney?
At any time during police questioning, you have the right to an attorney. However, in most cases, you must invoke this right firmly and affirmatively. Once you tell the police officers that you want an attorney present before answering questions, they should stop asking questions until an attorney has had the chance to speak with you. If they continue to ask you questions, simply repeat that you want an attorney. Don’t answer any further questions until an attorney arrives.
What Do You Do If Officers Arrest You for Something You Did Not Do?
No one is perfect, not even the police. Usually, as a result of confusion or a lack of understanding, people are arrested even though they feel they did nothing wrong. It’s only natural to want to fight against something that seems unfair or unjust. However, if you are accused of a crime and believe you are innocent, the argument should be held before a judge. Take your fight to the courtroom. Don’t act on these beliefs in public.
As American citizens, the constitution protects our various rights. Law enforcement cannot deny our basic rights to speak and remain silent, especially during police questioning. However, this doesn’t mean you can impede a summons by refusing to state your name. The information above is important to remember in the event that officers are questioning you. If you believe officers are arresting you for a crime you did not commit, take your battle to court. Don’t strike out at officers that are trying to enforce the law. If you or someone you know is in need of an attorney, contact Leon Matchin at 732-887-2479 or email him at [email protected]