If you have been arrested, you need to proceed carefully because a bad move can come with serious consequences. Fortunately, you can protect yourself by knowing your rights, particularly those that are mentioned in the Miranda warning.
The Right to Silence
First, you have the right to silence, which means that you can remain silent when you are being interrogated by the police so long as you choose to invoke it. This is important because the phrase, “Anything that you say can and will be used against you in a court of law,” is not an exaggeration. As a result, you should not speak unless you have a lawyer with you to protect your rights. Furthermore, you should always exercise care and caution when speaking while still in police custody because even what police officers overhear when you are speaking with someone else can be used against you.
Getting a Lawyer
Second, you have the right to counsel, which is actually a number of related rights collected under the same name. For example, you have the right to speak to a lawyer before you speak to the police as well as the right to have a lawyer with you while you speak to the police. Furthermore, you have the right to a lawyer with no conflict of interest whatsoever, thus ensuring that you will have the legal expertise and experience needed to guide you through your difficulties. The right to counsel is important because legal matters come with so many potential pitfalls. In fact, it is considered to be so important to having a fair trial that the government will appoint a lawyer for you at public expense if you cannot afford the services of a lawyer on your own.
The issue of bail comes up as part of the arraignment, which is when you are officially informed of the charges against you. This is when you are informed of the statements that will be used against you, the police’s version of the events that resulted in your arrest, and the plea offer if there is one. If you turn down the plea offer, the District Attorney will make a recommendation for releasing you either on recognizance or by posting ball before giving your lawyer a chance to argue for more lenient release terms. Please note that providing information regarding your ties to your community as well as confirming them can improve your chances in this regard.
Of course, there is much more to learn about the legal process. As a result, you should not hesitate to speak to your lawyer at length to make sure that all of your questions are satisfied.