Being arrested is always scary. Whether you’re guilty of the crime that you’ve been charged with or have a reasonable defense, knowing your rights is important. The actions that you take and the statements you issue while in custody can all have an impact on your outcome. Although you may be tempted to speak for yourself, it’s important to hold your thoughts until you’ve consulted with your attorney. Getting legal guidance from a qualified lawyer early on will help you avoid making painful missteps that may jeopardize your future. An attorney can also help you gain a better understanding of the rights that exist for those who’ve been detained in Minnesota and can show you how to leverage them for optimum protection.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
Everyone had heard at least some portion of their Miranda Rights. These are often read by arresting officers in television shows and movies. However, most people don’t know them in full. Moreover, even the most basic aspects of your Miranda Rights can be easily forgotten in the fear and confusion that being detained causes. Also known as the Miranda Warning, this list of rights should be read to you at the time of your arrest by the arresting officers.
The first and most important of these rights is the right to remain silent. You are not obligated to answer any questions that arresting officers ask. However, it is in your best interests to cooperate with law enforcement agencies as much as possible. This means following instructions at the time of your arrest by showing your hands and taking other physical measures to help officers verify that you aren’t in possession of a weapon and that you mean no harm.
You can relay important information such as your name, address, and driver’s license number, but answers to any questions pertaining to the crime that you’ve been charged with should be deferred.
How to Remain Both Silent and Cooperative at Once
Refusing to answer questions about the charges you’re facing is not the same as belligerently denying your guilt, refusing to physically cooperate with arresting officers, or even attempting to flee the scene. Try to stay calm. Do not let “flight or fight” chemicals dictate your actions. Instead, deep breathe to get your emotions under control, count backwards from 10 to one, and carefully weigh any statements you intend to make before issuing them.
Always speak in a clear and completely non-threatening way. Verbally let the arresting officers know that you are complying with their requests and that you have every intention of continuing to comply. It is also okay to let officers know that you’re frustrated, confused, or unable to understand the instructions that you’re being given. If you remain calm, the arresting officers can remain calm. If you present yourself as excitable, angry, and out-of-control, you’ll make their work much harder.
When asked questions about your whereabouts at the time of your alleged crime, your reasons for why you were where you were, or anything else either directly or indirectly applicable to your charges, let the arresting or interviewing officers know that you’d like to speak with your attorney. Remain steadfast in your resolve to use your right to remain silent until you’ve had the chance to consult with your attorney. Remember, you cannot retract statements that you make early-on. Everything that you say before consulting with your attorney will be entered on record and may be used against you later on.
You Have the Right to an Attorney
Sadly, not everyone is lucky enough to have an attorney on retainer. The good news is that everyone who’s charged with a crime in Minnesota has the right to qualified legal representation. If you’re unable to afford an attorney’s services, the court will appoint you one. However, when there’s a lot at stake, it’s often best to hire your own. Public defenders or court-appointed attorneys tend to have massive case loads and limited time to spend with individual clients. Hiring your own criminal defense attorney even if doing so proves financially challenging is the best way to ensure that your case gets the individualized attention it deserves.
You Can Find a Reputable Defense Attorney by Working With a Bail Bonds Agency
Shopping for a reputable attorney while being detained isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Depending upon the nature of the crime that you’ve been charged with, you may be ticketed and released, or booked and held in a local detention center. During your initial court appearance, the judge will review your charges, your criminal background, your length of residence in Minnesota, and other factors. Based upon these details, you may be released on your own recognizance or held with or without bail.
Bail amounts vary according to the severity of the charges being faced. For most defendants, bail orders exceed the amount of cash being held in their banking accounts and require outside assistance. Working with a bail bonds agency to obtain release while waiting for trial will give you the opportunity to shop your options in criminal defense attorneys. It will also allow you to begin building your defense. When released on bail, criminal defendants can additionally continue going to work or school, caring for their families, and preparing for the challenges that lie ahead. At A-Affordable Bail Bonds, we’re affiliated with a number of trusted Minnesota criminal defense attorneys. Thus, not only can we help you pay your bail, but we can also help you find qualified legal representation right away.
You Have the Right to a Speedy Trial
It is not lawful for Minnesota authorities to hold defendants in jail indefinitely. By law, you have the right to have your case heard by a jury of your peers within a reasonable amount of time. Being released on bail will make the waiting period before your trial far less physically, emotionally, mentally, and financially challenging. Whether you post bail or remain in detention, having an attorney will ensure that your rights are not impinged upon throughout this process.
What to Do While Waiting for Your Trial
Once released on bail, you still have to be careful about the actions that you take and the statements you make. Don’t:
- Vent about your charges or your arrest in public spaces or on social media
- Attempt to contact witnesses to explain your side of the story
- Attempt to contact the alleged victim for any reason
Although there may be instances in which taking these actions might seem perfectly reasonable, these are all things that can work against you. Worse still, they may result in additional charges. You should also be careful to avoid being charged with other crimes such as public drunkenness, driving while under the influence, or battery. Let your attorney prove your innocence for you, and avoid any actions that might diminish your character.
If you or someone you care about has recently been arrested in Minnesota, A-Affordable Bail Bonds can help. Call us today to find out more about our services, our costs, and the trusted criminal defense attorneys in our network.