What To Do If You Have Been Arrested
If you are detained by police officers in Florida, you will probably feel powerless and uncertain about what to do, whether it is a DUI charge or a drug crime. You should have an action plan ready, and you should understand what you may face.
How to Tell If You Have Been Arrested
In Florida, just because you are detained by a police officer does not mean you have been arrested. If an officer can claim he or she believes that you reasonably appear to be committing or about to commit a crime, you can be detained for a “stop and frisk.” They can demand that you explain yourself, but you can refuse to answer if they ask for your identity.
The officer must let you leave after a reasonably necessary period of time unless they establish probable cause. If the officer has probable cause to believe you possess a firearm and are also dangerous, the officer can search you for the same. However, you should know your rights. Under Florida law, you can demand that the officer identify themselves and explain the reasons for the arrest.
What Are Your Rights During an Arrest
As most people are aware, if you are arrested, the U.S. Constitution and Florida law gives you the right to remain silent. Under the U.S. Constitution and Florida law, you also have the right to an attorney. Specifically, you have the right to speak to your attorney alone and in private for a reasonable amount of time. Within 24 hours, you will be arraigned, or taken before a judge, or else the police will have violated Florida law. Your defense attorney will be present to advocate on your behalf.
This is your opportunity to learn about the formal charges against you and your right to communicate with your loved ones and your attorney. If necessary, it is also an opportunity to obtain an attorney if you cannot afford one. Even if you are assigned an attorney, however, you can hire another attorney at a later time. You will later have a choice regarding how you would like to plead, and your attorney can advise you on the wisdom of pleading guilty, or fighting back against an improper accusation by asking for a trial by jury.
Don’t Take a False Arrest Laying Down
During the recent riots in Baltimore, police officers became subject to increased scrutiny. For example, three of the six officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray were charged with false imprisonment following an allegedly improper arrest. This high-profile action by the Baltimore city prosecutor has led to a spate of similar backlash against false arrests. Similarly, in Broward County, two deputies have been charged with misdemeanors and accused of striking the suspect during an arrest, as shown on video. If you believe your arrest was false or improper, contact your Miami defense attorney today.
If you do get arrested, whatever the reason, you should understand your rights. Contact Florida criminal defense attorney Julia Kefalinos immediately after your arrest to ensure your rights are protected right from the start.