Houston Criminal Defense Blog

What Are My Rights After Being Arrested?

Everyone is entitled to certain rights after being arrested, what is not as clear is what those rights are. Miranda v. Arizona, a Supreme Court case from 1966, ended in a landmark decision that changed the nature of criminal arrests from that point forward. Now, law enforcement must give all arrestees a “Miranda rights” speech.

The Miranda rights speech essentially informs arrestees of rights that they already had, but may not have been aware of previously. In Miranda v. Arizona, the Supreme Court ruled that any statements made by an arrestee during the process of interrogation while in police custody can only be used against them in trial if law enforcement informed them of certain rights prior to questioning.

Three major rights must be explained to an arrestee prior to police questioning.

  1. The right to remain silent;
  2. The right to have an attorney present before and during questioning; and
  3. The right to be appointed a public defender to represent them before and during questioning.

Most Miranda rights speeches sound something like this:

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?

Per the Fourth Amendment, you also have the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Certain criminal procedures that have been implemented in recent years, some people argue, violate the individual’s Fourth Amendment rights, such as DNA testing of arrestees (who have not yet been formally charged or convicted of the suspected offense).

If you have questions about your rights, we encourage you to contact a Houston criminal defense attorney at our law firm as soon as possible. Contacting a trusted attorney right away after an arrest has the potential to significantly benefit your case. An attorney can guide you through criminal questioning and make sure you do not say anything that could harm your case. To learn more, contact Billy Skinner & Associates today for a free consultation.

Categories: Criminal Defense