You have the right to remain silent and to have legal counsel present before answering police officers’ questions. You should exercise both rights.
Being questioned by the police is intimidating. Whether you are simply stopped and interrogated or placed under arrest, you may not know what your rights are or what you should do to protect yourself. At the law office of Granger and Mueller PC, our experienced Austin, TX, criminal defense attorneys are here to advocate for you and protect your rights. Please call us if you are facing criminal charges.
What are My Rights When Stopped by the Police?
Many people are unsure of their rights when they are stopped by the police, and may believe that they have to consent to a search, answer questions, or otherwise cooperate with police requests. While you should always be polite and respectful when dealing with the police, here are some essential rights that you have:
- You have the right to remain silent. One of the most important Constitutional rights that you have is the right to remain silent. This means that except for providing your name and, if driving, giving your license and registration, you have the right to refuse to answer any questions asked by the police. You cannot be punished for refusing to answer a question.
- You have the right to talk to a lawyer. Per the U.S. Constitution, you also have a right to talk to a lawyer. You can request to speak to a lawyer as soon as you are detained by the police. Once you make it known that you want to talk to a lawyer, the police officers should stop questioning you. If they don’t, exercise your right to remain silent.
- You have the right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure. Police cannot conduct a search or seizure of your property, which includes your home, car, and your person, without your consent, without a warrant, or without probable cause that conducting the search will turn up evidence that a crime has been committed. If you are asked to consent to a search, you do not need to—and should not—consent.
- You have the right to leave if you are not being legally detained or/and arrested. Finally, while the police can temporarily detain you when investigating a crime or when at a traffic stop, for example, police cannot hold you against your will for an extended period of time without pressing criminal charges. If you are being held and have not been charged with a crime, ask if you are free to go.
Should I Call My Lawyer Before I Talk to the Police?
Talking to an attorney before you speak with the police is always recommended, even if you feel you have nothing to hide. Your attorney’s job is to protect your rights. Remember that anything that you say to the police can be used against you to convict you of the charges you are facing.
Call the Office of Granger and Mueller PC Today
At the office of Granger and Mueller PC, we offer skilled criminal defense representation to clients in Austin and the surrounding areas. If you have been charged with a crime, make us your first call. Reach us today by phone or online for the help you need.