On behalf of Law Office of John L. Venza Jr. posted in Criminal Law on Thursday, February 16, 2012
Many individuals who are arrested are unaware of their rights and obligations while in police custody. Although it is in your best interest to cooperate with the police's investigation in certain specified areas, you should be aware that you may not be compelled to comply with certain methods of police investigation, even while you're in police custody.
The things you do or say now could have a significant effect on the outcome of your eventual trial. It's important to contact a Sugar Land criminal attorney as soon as possible after your arrest to make sure your rights are protected.
After you are arrested, the police have legal authority to place you in a line-up and take your fingerprints, samples of your handwriting, and voice exemplars. The police may take these actions with or without your consent. It is unlikely the police will physically force you to participate in a line-up or provide samples; however, if you refuse to do so and should your case reach trial, the prosecution may be able to argue that your refusal to comply with the police's investigation is evidence of your guilt.
The police will likely also attempt to interrogate you and seek your consent to conduct a search of your property. The United States Constitution grants you rights against self-incrimination and unlawful searches. These rights protect you from police interrogation and unjustified searches while under arrest. Therefore, you should not agree to be interrogated outside the presence of your Sugar Land criminal attorney, and you should not allow police to search your property unless they produce a valid search warrant. Other than providing basic identifying information such as your name and address, do not respond to police questioning unless your Sugar Land criminal attorney instructs you to do so. The police cannot force you to comply with an interrogation, and your silence cannot be used against you at trial. Similarly, no negative inference can be drawn from your refusal to allow a warrantless search.
If you need legal assistance defending a criminal charge, please contact Sugar Land criminal attorney John L. Venza Jr.