Most encounters with law enforcement are rather mundane – traffic tickets and accident reports. However, some encounters end up escalating, ending up with an arrest (or multiple arrests). During the arrest phase, you may feel that your rights were violated; and possibly so. While it may be difficult, it is best to remain calm and compliant with the arresting officers (even if they are being unfair). The time to complain and fight about it is in the courtroom, not the scene of the arrest.
Below, we will discuss your rights during and after an arrest, vehicle searches, and what you should do if you suspect your rights have been violated.
Police officers are required to read you the Miranda Rights when questioning you. These rights are in place to:
- Protect you from incriminating yourself during the investigation phase without an attorney present
- Allowing you the opportunity to consult with an attorney before answering any questions.
- Finding an attorney to help protect you from common missteps if you cannot afford one.
You have the right to remain silent, even when being questioned by the police. Even though you might feel you are innocent, the best route is to stay silent and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney when presented with the option.
Officers are trained to get individuals to talk, using all kinds of methods (legal and illegal) to get them to confess. Remain silent, follow their orders, and wait for the proper time to speak (after consulting with a defense attorney). One of their best techniques is to not ask you any questions at all. People almost always just start talking. And, the police are listening!
Vehicle Searches In Alabama
The Fourth Amendment is to protect you from unlawful searches and/or seizure of items in your vehicle and/or property. This means the police cannot search your vehicle without a warrant, your permission, or a valid reason.
A valid reason can be as simple as probable cause (the belief that you have committed a crime or have something illegal in your possession). For vehicle searches, the courts tend to give more leeway, allowing officers to search under probable cause (a valid reason) without fear of evidence being rejected during prosecution later.
The reason for this is due to an automobile exception which states individuals have a lower expectation of privacy when driving a vehicle.
What Should I Do If I Think My Rights Have Been Violated?
First off, do not try to resist and/or fight the officers. Unfortunately, doing this will only cause more problems for you and possibly get extra charges added to the list of offenses you will stand trial for. While you may believe (know) that you are innocent, follow the orders they give until you get a chance to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.
If your rights have been violated, there is a good chance that the evidence and charges could be dropped altogether. To find out if your rights have been violet, contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to see what options you have available to you after your arrest.
Schedule a Confidential Consultation with Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyer Tim Fleming
Even during an arrest, you have rights. While it may be hard to follow orders, especially when your rights are being violated, do everything you can to be compliant during the arrest. If you’ve been charged with a crime in Alabama and you feel your rights have been violated, you should contact us immediately. To speak with us confidentially, call us at (251) 304-0888 or use our online contact form.