Police officers are supposed to be people whom we go to when we need help or protection. Despite that, most people still get nervous when in the presence of authorities such as the police. Even if you did not do anything wrong, many people get anxious if a police officer stops them. Resisting a police officer is a criminal offense that carries serious penalties, so it is important that you know what to do and not do when you are detained by a police officer.
Knowing your own rights and the rights of police officers during an arrest can save you some confusion if you are ever arrested. Here are a few things you should know in the event you are arrested and charged with a crime:
- Do not resist the officer. Resisting arrest is a crime that is punishable by jail time and/or fines. If you are stopped by a police officer, you are allowed to ask them if you are free to go, but if the answer is “no”, you are being detained. Being detained is not the same as being arrested, but you should completely comply with the officer’s requests. Do not resist the officer or disobey his or her orders or you may end up in bigger trouble.
- You do not have to say much, but you will have to say something. Most people know that they do not have to answer an officer’s questions if they do not want to, but there are a few questions that you should answer to avoid delays in the process. You should inform the police officer of your legal name, address, age, date of birth and possibly your social security number. If you do not give officers this information, you may end up spending more time in jail than necessary.
- You must be read your Miranda Rights before you are questioned. After you are arrested, the police must read you your constitutional rights, also known as your Miranda Rights. Each police department’s Miranda Warning may vary slightly, but the general idea is to inform you of your constitutional rights: you have the right to remain silent because anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law, you have the right to an attorney and if you cannot afford one, you will have one appointed to you. The police must also make sure you acknowledge that you understood your rights as they were read to you.
- You still do not have to say anything. Police will try to get you to talk, even after your Miranda Rights have been read to you. You should immediately inform the police that you will not speak until you have an attorney present. You have every right to do so. The officer may try to get you to talk before your attorney comes, either by using force or threats. Any information that you give up because of an officer’s use of force is inadmissible, but that does not mean you should speak freely.
Have a Dedicated Will County Criminal Defense Lawyer by Your Side
Being arrested is an ordeal, even if you did not commit a crime. If you or a loved one has been arrested on criminal charges, you should immediately contact us at the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. Attorney Jack L. Zaremba is a former Will County prosecutor who has an in-depth knowledge of the Illinois criminal justice system and how it works. Our dedicated Joliet Illinois criminal defense lawyer can help you ensure your rights are protected if you are arrested. Call our office today at 815-740-4025 to schedule a free consultation.