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With news stories abound about police stops and arrests that went wrong, it’s important to know what rights you have when you’re arrested and what happens post-arrest.

Your Rights During an Arrest

The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects your right to be free from self-incrimination. As a result, you’re entitled to have specific rights read to you prior to any questioning by the police. These rights include:

  • The right to remain silent, without answering any questions.
  • Anything you say can be used against you in court.
  • The right to consult an attorney before speaking, or to have the attorney present during questioning.
  • The right to an appointed attorney should you be unable to afford a private one.

During an arrest, the police are entitled to search you, as a precaution, for any weapons you may be carrying. They may also search your vehicle, if applicable.

Remember, you can only be searched by the police when there is probable cause. This means that the police must have specific facts or proper evidence to believe you’ve been involved in a crime, are about to commit a crime or are committing a crime in the moment.

What Happens After Your Arrest

After you’re arrested, you’ll enter into a process called booking. The police will take your demographic information, your fingerprints and your photograph at this time. Once the booking process is complete, your case will go under examination by a prosecutor who will make a decision on your charges.

Next, the charges brought against you will be read in court during a process called arraignment. At this time, you’ll need to respond with a guilty plea or a not guilty plea. If applicable, you’ll be able to leave the jail before your trial by posting bail, or money paid to the court.

Have You Been Arrested? Consider Hiring an Attorney.

If you’ve been arrested, or if someone you love has been, exercise your rights—especially your right to consult an attorney—immediately. An attorney can protect you and help you navigate every step that’s to come. To learn more about your rights and legal options in Minnesota, send us a message today.