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Your Rights When Being Arrested

Posted Thursday, March 23, 2017 by Lizanne Padula.

alt textRights You Can Exercise

Being arrested can feel like your privacy and your freedom is being violated. Though you are being taken in custody by the authorities, you still have rights. Most people are familiar with the right to remain silent. This is a protected right under the Fifth Amendment. But your rights when being arrested go beyond this right, and even that right only applies to certain situations. Understanding your rights when being arrested is very important because without your knowledge of the applicable rights they can be easily violated. Here are a few things you should know about your rights when being arrested:

The right to remain silent is part of a set of rights called the Miranda rights. Miranda rights give you the right to:

Remain silent

Be informed that anything you say can be held against you at trial

Speak with a lawyer before being interrogated/questioned by law enforcement.

Have a public defender appointed to you if you cannot afford a private lawyer

Contrary to popular belief, the arresting officer does not have to read you your Miranda rights when arresting you. These rights are only applicable if you are being interrogated (asked questions). Therefore, an officer only has to read you these rights when arresting you if he or she is going to ask you questions once you are in custody.

These rights are very important. They are constitutionally protected for a good reason. These rights ensure fair treatment of criminal defendants and protect them from self-incrimination. You are innocent until proven guilty, and, by exercising these rights, you can make sure you do not provide any information that can help the prosecution’s argument.

You also have the right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure by the police, a right protected under the Fourth Amendment. This means the police can only arrest (an arrest is a seizure) you if they have probable cause to do so. Likewise, law enforcement is limited in their ability to search you or your property. Most of the time, law enforcement needs a warrant issued by a Judge or your consent to perform a search. However, there are exceptions. For example, they can search your person after an arrest to make sure you do not have a weapon or contraband that would be taken into the jail. They can search your car to inventory your possessions before your car is impounded. However, they can only search unlocked areas. A locked glove compartment is usually a safe place and cannot be searched without a warrant. Generally speaking, it is never a good idea to consent to a search. Make them get the warrant! If you do consent, remember you can limit the scope of the search and terminate the search at any time.

Speak with an experienced Washington criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested and think your rights were violated. If they were, you can assert your rights by asking the judge to “throw out” (i.e. disregard/exclude) any evidence that you may have provided during interrogation. If you were not read your rights, information obtained during interrogation is inadmissible as evidence at trial. An attorney can help you make sure all unlawfully obtained evidence is thrown out.

Were you recently arrested? The attorneys at Padula & Associates, LLC know how stressful this experience can be and can help you understand your rights. Our attorneys are experienced in DUI and criminal defense and can help you face your charges with confidence while defending your rights. For 10 years Padula & Associates has been serving those in King County, Snohomish County, and surrounding areas with aggressive criminal defense services for DUIs, domestic violence, and other criminal charges. Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366, email us at or fill out our free consultation form today.