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What happens if you are arrested in California – what are your rights?

Being arrested can be a daunting experience; especially if you have never had any problems with the law in the past. The important thing to remember is that you do have certain rights when you are arrested. It's important that these rights are adhered to by the legal professionals involved. You need to know about these rights in order to be aware of any issues.

The aim of this article is to talk about what it means to be arrested. We will also look at what rights you have once an arrest has taken place.

What does being arrested actually mean?

Once you have been arrested on suspicion of a crime, you are not free to leave. It's also possible that you could be detained for questioning for a short period of time. This happens if you are suspected of a crime, but the police are not yet in a position where they can arrest you.

The reading of your rights

When you are arrested, the police will read you the Miranda warning. This is often referred to as reading you your rights and it has to be done before you are questioned. You will be told that:

  • You can remain silent.
  • If you speak, anything you say could be used against you.
  • You can have a lawyer present while you are being questioned.
  • A lawyer will be appointed for you, if you cannot afford to hire one.

It's important to note that the rights only apply to your questioning and not if you give information to the police voluntarily.

The importance of legal representation

If you have been arrested for a crime, it's a good idea to seek legal help as soon as possible. You have a right to three free local phone calls, so you can use one of them to call a Los Angeles Criminal Attorney. An attorney can talk to you about the best course of action, advise you and your family about bail and be present when you are questioned.

If you want to be questioned without an attorney present this can happen; although it's not advisable. If you do decide on this course of action, and change your mind, the questioning has to stop until the lawyer arrives.

If you cannot afford your own attorney you will have legal representation appointed. The person who is appointed is always there to act in your best interests. They are not associated to the court or the state.

Being arrested does not mean that you will be convicted of a crime, but even so it can be disturbing. It's important that you remember you have rights, which should be adhered to. You need to be informed of these rights before questioning can take place. If you find yourself in custody, it's a good idea to make sure you speak to an attorney as soon as possible. Doing so can help make the process a little easier for you.

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