What rights do I have after being arrested?
Upon arrest, Rhode Island police officers typically will read you your Miranda rights. It’s important to note that the police don’t have to read you these rights for an arrest to be valid. This is a common misconception. Miranda rights are only necessary when the police intend to question you while you’re in custody. Due to this, a common “trick” that the police try to use is to question you prior to arrest. Before you’re arrested, the police can question you without reading you your rights. As such, when the police are questioning you, you should ask if you’re free to leave (this will help your attorney later if it needs to be argued that you were in “custody”). If you’re not free to leave, you should ask to speak with a criminal defense lawyer.
If you’re in police custody and officers want to question you, they must advise you of your Miranda rights which are:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- If you waive your right to remain silent, anything you say may be used against you in court.
- You have the right to speak with an attorney prior to questioning, and have that attorney present during any questioning.
- If you wish to speak with an attorney but cannot afford one, one will be appointed for you free of charge.
- If you choose to speak with the police, you are waiving your right to remain silent.