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Understanding your rights during an arrest in Arkansas

On Behalf of | Mar 8, 2024 | Criminal Defense

People get arrested in many seemingly innocent situations. They attend a party that ends up becoming too loud or a police officer pulls them over on the road, only for the situation to suddenly become confrontational. Most people do not anticipate getting arrested and might have a difficult time reacting appropriately when an officer decides to arrest them. People who panic during an arrest could worsen the case against them, as officers might try to claim that they resisted arrest or attempted to flee.

People could also make mistakes by failing to use their rights during an arrest and while in state custody. What rights does someone need to understand for their own protection during an arrest in Arkansas?

The right to remain silent

Police officers can lie to people or manipulate their emotions in an effort to further an investigation. They may claim that they have evidence or witness testimony that doesn’t actually exist. They might try to convince the person they arrested that their cooperation now could mean limited penalties later.

Police officers generally do not have the authority to limit the charges a prosecutor pursues or the sentence that a judge hands down. They can openly lie to and manipulate defendants and suspects. What someone says could implicate them by demonstrating that they have knowledge of the crime. People trying to prove their innocence could also contradict themselves in a way that makes them appear unreliable if they later go to trial. Refusing to answer questions is one of someone’s most basic rights when taken into state custody.

The right to legal representation

Police officers generally need to inform someone that they intend to question about their right to remain silent and their right to defense representation. Officers provide people with the Miranda warning and they then pressure people into giving up or waiving those rights.

Having a lawyer present can make a major difference for people facing charges. An attorney could sit through the questioning with them to help avoid a scenario in which officers lie to, trick or manipulate the defendant into making a mistake. A lawyer can also help someone handle the arraignment process and the bail process to ensure their release from state facilities as soon as possible.

At the end of the day, knowing about and using one’s basic rights when an interaction with the police turns into an arrest could make all the difference for someone accused of a criminal offense in Arkansas.