What to Do After an Arrest in Baton Rouge
Protecting Your Rights Throughout the Criminal Justice Process
If you've been arrested for a crime, you have rights. Your constitutional protections are in place to ensure you receive a fair trial and you don't provide the police or prosecution with information that could incriminate you. Understanding your rights and knowing how and when to invoke them can help you as you progress through the criminal justice process.
At The Scott Law Firm, our attorneys are here to provide the sound legal advice and guidance you need following an arrest. Whether you've been charged with a drug crime, DUI, or any other misdemeanor or felony offense, we'll stand by your side from the beginning of your case until its resolution. We understand that this can be a frightening and stressful experience. That is why we make ourselves available to answer any questions you might have. Our priority is protecting your best interests and ensuring your rights were not violated during or after your arrest.
To schedule a consultation with our Baton Rouge criminal defense attorneys, call us at (225) 224-0510 today.
Before an Arrest
Before a police officer can arrest you, they must have probable cause or a warrant to do so. This means either that reasonable belief exists that you have committed an offense and the officer arrests you on the spot, or some evidence suggests you have committed a crime and a judge has issued an order for your arrest.
Right to Remain Silent
If an officer begins questioning you about an alleged offense, you must give them your name and address. Beyond that, you do not have to provide any other information. You can politely tell the officer that you are exercising your right to remain silent.
Additionally, if an officer is questioning you, you can ask them whether or not you are under arrest. If they say no, you can ask if you're free to go. Generally, if you are not being arrested, you can leave.
Right to Be Free from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
Under the Fourth Amendment, you are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. Again, an officer would need to have probable cause or a warrant to search your body, house, or car. If they don't have either, they cannot look through your belongings. An officer might request your permission to conduct a search, but if they don't have a warrant or probable cause, you can politely refuse.
If the officer conducts the search without your consent, do not resist. This could lead to criminal charges being filed against you. In such a situation, remember as much detail as you can, and then discuss the circumstances with your lawyer. They can help you understand whether or not your rights were violated.
After an Arrest
If an officer had probable cause or a warrant to arrest you, you still have rights. Again, beyond giving your name and address to the officer, you don't have to answer any questions. Your right to remain silent is in place to protect you from providing any self-incriminating evidence.
Right to an Attorney
After you've been arrested, you also have the right to an attorney. It's imperative to invoke this right. This allows you to have an advocate on your side who can advise you on how to proceed.
After your arrest, you may be placed in jail. However, within 72 hours, you must be scheduled for an arraignment. During this proceeding, your formal charges will be read to you, and you may be asked to enter a plea (guilty or not guilty). Additionally, bail may be set, which is money you pay to be released from jail. The purpose of bail is to ensure you return for your scheduled court date. In some cases, you may be released on your own recognizance, which means you won’t have to pay to get out of jail. Typically, this happens when the judge determines you can be trusted appear in court.
Again, you have the right to have an attorney with you at your arraignment. Our Baton Rouge lawyers at The Scott Law Firm can deliver the effective counsel you need during this step of the process.
Retain Skilled Legal Help
From the moment you are arrested for an offense until the resolution of your case, having an experienced lawyer in your corner is of the utmost importance. Not only can they guide you through the process, but they can also analyze every detail of your circumstances to determine whether or not any unlawful conduct happened. If so, evidence obtained may be inadmissible in court and could weaken the prosecutor’s case. At The Scott Law Firm, we will provide the aggressive and focused defense you need.
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