Getting arrested can be a scary and confusing experience. If you find yourself in this situation in Los Angeles, it is crucial to understand your rights. Knowing what you are entitled to can help protect you and ensure fair treatment throughout the legal process. In this article, we will break down the key rights you have after being arrested in Los Angeles.


The Right to Remain Silent

You have probably heard this on TV shows, but it is not just a catchy phrase. The right to remain silent is a fundamental protection guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This right kicks in as soon as you are arrested.

What does it mean in practice? You do not have to answer any questions from the police except to provide your name and basic identifying information. You can politely tell the officer that you’re exercising your right to remain silent and want to speak with a lawyer.

Why is this important? Anything you say to the police can be used as evidence against you in court. Even innocent statements can sometimes be misinterpreted or taken out of context.

Remember, silence cannot be used against you in court. The prosecutor cannot argue that your refusal to speak implies guilt. It is a powerful right, so do not be afraid to use it.

The Right to an Attorney

Another crucial right is your right to have a criminal defense attorney represent you. This right is so important that the police must inform you of it when you are arrested – it is part of the famous “Miranda warnings” you might have heard about.

You have the right to hire your attorney. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint a public defender to represent you at no cost. Either way, you have the right to speak with your lawyer before answering any questions from the police.

Why is having an attorney so important? A skilled lawyer can:

  • Advise you on what to say (or not say) to the police
  • Ensure your rights are protected throughout the legal process
  • Negotiate with prosecutors on your behalf
  • Develop a strong defense strategy for your case
  • Represent you in court proceedings

Do not hesitate to ask for a lawyer, even if you think you might be guilty. It is not an admission of guilt – it is a smart way to protect your rights and get expert guidance during a stressful time.

The Right to a Phone Call

Despite what you might have seen in movies, you do not get just one phone call after being arrested in Los Angeles. You have the right to make a reasonable number of phone calls within three hours of being arrested unless there’s a good reason for the police to delay this (like if you are extremely intoxicated).

You can use these calls to:

  • Contact a lawyer
  • Reach out to family or friends
  • Arrange for bail

It is important to note that calls to your lawyer are private and cannot be monitored by the police. However, other calls may be recorded or monitored, so be careful what you say.

The Right to Know the Charges Against You

When you are arrested, you have the right to be informed of the specific charges against you. The police must tell you why you are being arrested at the time they take you into custody or soon after.

If you are held in custody, you must be brought before a judge for an arraignment within 48 hours of your arrest (excluding weekends and holidays). At the arraignment, the charges will be formally presented, and you will have the opportunity to enter a plea.

Understanding the charges is crucial because it allows you and your criminal lawyer to start planning your defense strategy. If the police refuse to tell you why you’re being arrested, make sure to mention this to your attorney.

The Right to Humane Treatment

While in police custody, you have the right to be treated humanely. This includes:

  • The right to food and water
  • Access to bathroom facilities
  • Medical attention if you are sick or injured
  • Protection from excessive force or abuse

If you feel your rights are being violated, it is important to remain calm but firm. Make mental notes of what is happening and report any mistreatment to your lawyer as soon as possible.

Contact Us for Legal Help

At Kosnett Law Firm, we’re committed to defending your rights and providing the skilled legal representation you need during this challenging time. Do not let an arrest define your future – know your rights and get the help you need to protect them. Get in touch with us to schedule a consultation.

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