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Your Rights If You Are Arrested

In the United States, everyone is always guaranteed certain rights. This is especially important in the criminal justice system. If you are arrested, you still have rights and it is very important that the state fulfills its obligation to you and does not violate these rights. However, what are these rights? Many people do not actually know? That is why this short guide will explain what rights someone has after being arrested.

The Miranda Warning

When someone is arrested, a police officer must read someone their rights. This is called the Miranda Warning and you have probably heard it before. It is famously depicted in movies and television. These are the most basic rights that everyone has. They are:

  • The right to remain silent – If you do not want to say anything, you do not need to. No one can force you to testify or to participate in an interrogation.
  • The right to know when you are on the record – At a certain point, anything someone being arrested says will be on the record. That means their words can be used in a court of law to incriminate them. This cannot be sprung on someone suddenly, as the Miranda Warning constitutes a fair warning that everything is officially on the record.
  • The right to an attorney – No one can be tried without legal representation. Someone can waive the right to an attorney, but a free public defender must be offered. This offer will be made at the arraignment, which is the first court appearance.

Other Rights

There are a few other rights that everyone who has been arrested has. These are a little less famous than the Miranda Warning, but they are just as important. Everyone has the right to basic human rights while incarcerated. This means food, water, a safe environment, and shelter from the elements must be provided for everyone. Additionally, if someone is suffering from an injury or medical condition, medical care must be provided.

If someone is going to be interrogated, they have the right to have a friend, family member, or lawyer present. No one can be forced to be interrogated alone. Additionally, if someone speaks a foreign language, they have the right to have an interpreter present during the interrogation. When someone is arrested, they have the right to contact their loved ones through a phone call. Unlike how it is depicted in the media, you get more than one phone call. If you think your rights were violated, it is important to tell your Federal criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco, CA.


Thanks to The Morales Law Firm for their insight into criminal defense and the cost of attorneys.