It can be nerve wracking and a bit terrifying to be under investigation for a crime, and while it can be tempting to hide out and do nothing, that may be the worst thing you do. As an American citizen, you have substantial rights that protect you from unfair investigative practices, and it is important that you understand what those rights are so that you can exercise them when necessary. At Udeshi Clark & Associates, we help individuals through a variety of legal situations, including criminal investigations. If you are under investigation, keep reading to learn more about your basic rights and how you can exercise them for the best possible outcome.
Your Basic Rights
First and foremost, it is important that you understand what rights you actually have. When under investigation, there are four basic rights that you can and should exercise:
- The right to counsel;
- The right to leave;
- The right to remain silent; and
- The right to privacy.
Most people are familiar with the right to remain silent, as that is a commonly quoted Miranda warning that is not only cited by law enforcement, but that is also cited by Hollywood actors and actresses on a regular basis. However, not many people are familiar with the others. Each is explained more in depth below.
The Right to Counsel
If you are the suspect in a crime, immediately request legal counsel. The arresting officer is legally obligated to immediately make arrangements to get you a Dallas criminal defense attorney. While there is no promise that the lawyer will show up instantly, you can rest easy knowing that one is on his or her way. In the meantime, exercise your right to remain silent, as anything you say from the moment of arrest can be used against you in the court of law.
The Right to Leave
Most people are unfamiliar with this right and assume that once they are brought in for questioning or stopped by an officer, they are under arrest. This is not the case. Unless an officer specifically states that you are under arrest, you are free to leave at your will. If you are unsure, simply ask an officer. If the answer is no, you do not have to stick around.
The Right to Remain Silent
Just because an officer arrests you does not mean that you have to talk. In fact, it is best that you do not talk, period. Even if you are innocent, you may say the wrong thing and shoot yourself in the foot (figuratively speaking, of course). Be aware that once you are arrested, anything you say to anyone can be used against you. Your phone calls at this point are recorded, and your conversations listened to for any telling information. Keep quiet about your case and your conversations limited to “Can I get a glass of water?” and “How’s the weather?”
The Right to Privacy
Whether an officer pulls you over and asks to search your vehicle or they show up at your home and request to take a look around, you do not have to grant them entry unless they produce a warrant. If the police do not have a warrant and search your property without your permission, any evidence they find is inadmissible in the court of law. This right is guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.
Consult a Dallas Criminal Defense Lawyer for Immediate Legal Assistance
By far the best thing you can do if you are under investigation is to contact an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney. Do not wait until you are arrested to seek legal help, as a knowledgeable lawyer can advise you on what and what not to do to ensure the best possible outcome. If you are under investigation, reach out to the legal team at Udeshi Clark & Associates for unparalleled legal representation today. Call 469-906-2226 to schedule a private consultation now.
(image courtesy of Ashton Bingham)