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Tucson Criminal Defense Law FAQs

Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving Phoenix and Tucson

You just got arrested what are your rights?

When police in Arizona arrest you, they are supposed to read you your rights, and they usually do this from a card they carry to make sure they get the wording exactly right. It's known as "Mirandizing" the suspect. This stems from a Supreme Court decision in 1966 that affirmed that statements made by a suspect before they are informed of their right to retain an attorney or their right to remain silent can be deemed inadmissible in a court of law. In most situations, police will Mirandize a suspect as they are putting the handcuffs on or as they are putting the suspect in the car. It has to be done before any statements made by the suspect are admissible in court. If you are not read your Miranda rights, it does not mean the arrest will be deemed to be a false arrest by a judge. It does mean than any statements recorded from you will not be permitted in court.

You don't have to incriminate yourself under U.S. law.

This is also known as the right to remain silent. Any time you talk after an arrest, the police can use the information you give them during an investigation, and the statements can be used by the prosecutor or evaluated by a judge during a trial.

In general, you have a right to have an attorney present during questioning.

At Thrush Law Group, an experienced Tempe criminal defense attorney can prevent police from asking questions that are in violation of your rights. There's an exception to note: if you are suspected of driving under the influence, you may not have a right to an attorney when the police ask you to take a breath test or to give a blood sample to determine alcohol or drug presence.

If the police ask to search your property, you do not have to give them permission to do so.

They cannot just go ahead and search your property unless they have "probable cause" or a search warrant signed by a judge with jurisdiction over the physical location the target property is in. For example, if police spot something out in the open and determine there was "no reasonable expectation of privacy," the police can go ahead with a search of your property immediately without a search warrant.

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You’re rights if you have been arrested

Phoenix Criminal Defense

Criminal law and criminal defense in Phoenix, Arizona can be extremely complicated. When individuals do not know their rights, they often contribute to the case against them. It is unfortunate that, while most people know how to provide emergency medical care, they do not often understand the basic laws that can have a dramatic effect on their freedom and their futures.

Even the most law-abiding citizens should know what can happen during an arrest and how to protect their rights.

Before the official arrest

From the moment you are stopped, you can be questioned and even searched by police, but you do have certain rights, even before your Miranda rights are read as part of an arrest:

  • Pre-arrest questioning: Although you should always remain polite, you are not required to answer police questions during a stop. While your answers at this point are technically not allowed to be used against you in court, even an innocent response can serve to incriminate yourself. Self-incrimination is not required under the law.
  • Searches: Arizona law states that a search warrant is required for police to conduct a search ? however, warrantless searches are permitted under certain circumstances. For example, they can search your vehicle if you are arrested in that vehicle. When the police have neither a warrant nor grounds for a warrantless search, they can search you or your property if you give them permission to do so. You are not required to give this permission.

After the arrest

Your constitutional rights protect you once you are placed under arrest. These rights are called Miranda rights, which should be read to you at the time of your arrest, and they guarantee you the right to remain silent, and the right to an attorney.

The success of your Phoenix criminal defense often rides on your observation of your Miranda rights. Once you receive Miranda rights, anything you say to law enforcement or other officials can be used against you during your trial. This is why it is so critical to take advantage of your right to an attorney. Phoenix criminal defense attorneys remain at your side during questioning to ensure all questions are legally permitted and to advise you on how to respond. Do not forget that one of your rights is to have the court appoint an attorney if you cannot afford one.

How Phoenix criminal defense lawyers can help

A skilled criminal defense lawyer helps clients through every phase of the criminal process — all the way from arrest through arraignment and trial, when applicable. Your attorney protects your rights, helps you build your defense and can even negotiate for reduced charges to avoid a stressful courtroom trial. Thrush Law Group is a leading Arizona law firm with a track record of success and the resources needed to provide referrals to the most reliable bail bond agencies.

Serving clients in Phoenix, Mesa, Tempe, Tucson, Gilbert, Chandler and throughout Arizona For a free consultation with compassionate, experienced legal counsel, call 520-325-6500 or 480-366-5786