When we think of the arrested, we typically picture men and women in the back of police cruisers on their way to booking. While these individuals have no immediate legal right to leave their captors, they do have specified and clear legal rights while under detainment. Therefore, it’s crucial that all citizens identify and understand the legal rights they have when in custody. Fortunately, the authorities of Florida created an online list of statutes regarding arrests and detainment.
Right to Consult an Attorney
As found on the Florida State website, the arrestee has the right to consult with a criminal defense attorney entitled to practice in Florida. Not only can the accused meet with his or her attorney, but he or she can meet with the attorney for as often and for as long as is reasonable. Additionally, the lawyer and the accused have the right to meet alone and in private at the place of custody. Therefore, a criminal defense attorney and his client can talk over the case without having officers listen to their conversation.
Right to Proper Strip Searches
When people are arrested for a crime, they are typically searched for weapons or evidence regarding the arrest. In some cases, authorities will ask the accused to remove or arrange all or some of his or her clothing to search sensitive areas. While strip searches are legal, there are some circumstances where police do not have the right to strip search the arrested.
Police cannot strip search the arrested when:
- The person is arrested for a traffic, regulatory, or misdemeanor offense (except when the accused’s charge is violent in nature; when officers have reason to believe the individual is concealing a weapon, controlled substance, or stolen property; and when the person cannot be released for recognizance or bond.
- The person doing the search is not the same gender as the accused.
- The premises where the search is performed is observable by people not conducting the search.
- The conditions of the search are unsanitary.
Right to Hear the Miranda Warning
Once the accused is in police custody, police must recite the Miranda warning to the arrested before questioning begins. If the Miranda warning is not recited to the accused, most anything he or she says during in-custody questioning cannot be used in a court of law as incriminating evidence.
For example, let’s assume a police officer brings someone under arrest to a place for booking. While the accused is getting booked, the officer will likely question him or her about the charges. If the officer forgets to recite the Miranda warning to the arrested, most anything the suspect says about their case will not be viable in a court of law. Even if the accused says they are guilty of the crime, this statement will not hold up in court if the officer detaining the accused does not state the Miranda warning.
Why does a police officer have to recite the Miranda warning, because the Miranda warning contains information about the accused’s right to remain silent and his or her right to an attorney.
Right to Remain Silent
Within the Miranda warning we find this phrase, “You have the right to remain silent.” While this phrase has been turned into a prominent aspect of crime dramas like CSI, it is much more important than a quote from the entertainment industry.
The right to remain silent is arguably one of the most important rights of the accused. The right to remain silent upholds the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States which says, “No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” What this means is nobody accused of a crime has to take the stand or give an account of the circumstances surrounding their supposed breaking of the law.
Unfortunately, many people are tricked into talking to police without a lawyer on hand. When the accused talks to officers without legal representation, he or she will almost undoubtedly hurt their case. Therefore, it is critical that anyone accused of a crime exercise their Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate themselves. To sum up this section, always stay silent and ask for a criminal defense attorney until you have experienced legal counsel by your side!
Ready to Fight Your Case?
Among all of these statues and rules, one right is more important than all the others combined, and that is the right to fight for your case. The American criminal justice system works on the belief that the accused are “innocent until proven guilty.” Fortunately, those accused of crimes have the power to hire legal representation to fight on their behalf in an attempt to prove their innocence.
If you or a loved one have been arrested and need to fight for your freedom, contact Hager & Schwartz, P.A. as soon as possible. Our goal as a firm is to be with you at every step of your fight and to help you achieve the best possible result for your case. The sooner you use your right to hire legal representation for your case, the sooner we can start to defend your rights!
Call (305) 330-1360 now for a free consultation for your case!