An arrest occurs every three seconds in the United States, and less serious crimes such as drug offenses and disorderly conduct account for approximately 80 percent of these arrests. Being arrested, or even detained, is a very scary and stressful experience. Before an arrest though, law enforcement may conduct a drug search. If you find yourself in this situation, it is important to know your rights, and which questions to ask to ensure they are upheld. Below, our Ouachita Parish drug crime lawyer explains what these are.
What is Your Badge Number and Name?
Police officers are required to collect information that identifies you if you are charged with a crime. Likewise, you can also ask the police to confirm their identity. If you ask law enforcement for this identifying information, they are less likely to try and mislead you into an unlawful arrest or search. Regardless of the outcome of the search, a lawyer will review every detail of your case and advise on what was warranted, and what was not.
Can I Talk to My Lawyer?
Whether or not police inform you of your constitutional rights, you do have the right to speak to a lawyer any time you encounter trouble with the law. It is critical that you ask to speak to a lawyer, as it can prevent you from being incriminated with a confession or statement.
Can I See the Warrant to Search My Property?
If law enforcement wants to search your property, they must have a warrant to do so. There are some limited exceptions to this, such as when you are pulled over for a traffic stop and police want to search your vehicle. Even in these cases, you should never consent to the search, as that could make an illegal search lawful. If police are searching anything other than your vehicle during a traffic stop, ask to see the warrant. Law enforcement cannot search your property unless they have a warrant and so, it is vital that you ask to see it.
Am I Being Arrested or Detained?
Any time you are stopped by law enforcement, whether you are at your house, on the street, or somewhere else, you have the right to know whether you are being detained or arrested. If you are arrested, police should read you your rights before taking you into custody. If you are only being detained, police can still take you into custody, such as taking you to the police station, but they can only hold you for a limited period of time.
Why am I Being Arrested or Detained?
It is critical that you know why you are being arrested or detained. A police officer must provide a valid reason for your detainment or arrest, and the offense they suspect you of committing. With the help of a lawyer, you can investigate how your arrest was handled to determine if there was an abuse of power.
Speak with Our Drug Crime Lawyer in Ouachita Parish for an Aggressive Defense
Regardless of where you encounter law enforcement, it is critical that you know your rights. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our Ouachita Parish drug crime lawyer can advise you of what those are and prepare the strong defense you need to beat your charges. Call us now at 318-594-3592 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.