What are my rights?

When it comes to the rights of the accused, it amazes me how little our citizens know about their rights when confronted by a police officer or someone acting in the capacity of a police officer (such as an investigator working for a company). There are a few basic but extremely important rights you should know about in these situations.

The Right to Counsel

Always remember that you have the right to legal counsel before you are questioned. Answering questions without an attorney present to assist you can be a huge mistake and may result in major problems if you are arrested and charged with a crime.

The Right to Remain Silent

Most people associate the phrase “you have the right to remain silent” with the Miranda Warning that police must read to you by law when you are actually being arrested. However, you have the right to remain silent from the very moment police attempt to question you (even if you are not being arrested). You are under no obligation to answer their questions at any time.

Unlawful Search and Seizure

If a police officer comes to your home, you do not have to let them inside of your house unless they present you with a search warrant. Letting officers search your home without a warrant can be a big mistake.

If you ever find yourself in any of the situations described above, it is important to remember your rights and stand up for yourself.