Being accused of a crime is one of the most stressful things that an individual can experience. When you are held or questioned by law enforcement under suspicion of criminal behavior, those holding you will try their best to have you admit to the conduct of which you are accused. In addition, the people questioning you are not required to be honest or fair, and sometimes may use aggressive tactics in order to obtain a confession. Fortunately, the accused have rights, especially when being held or questioned by the authorities. Anyone who is being questioned by law enforcement should request to speak to an attorney immediately. Chicago attorney Steven Goldman is an experienced criminal defense attorney who fights hard for the rights of his clients, and strives to obtain the best possible result in each case he takes.
What are my Miranda Rights?
Miranda rights are one of the most important things of which a person accused of a crime should be aware. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution provides that a person accused of a crime cannot be compelled to testify against him or herself. This applies to situations in which a person is in custody as well as testifying in court. In addition, the Sixth Amendment demands that a person accused of a serious crime may have legal counsel. In light of these requirements, the Supreme Court of the United States has held that a person in custody who is accused of committing a crime must be informed of their right to remain silent as well as their right to counsel. Specifically, Arizona v. Miranda requires that:
…The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he/she has the right to remain silent, and that anything the person says will be used against that person in court; the person must be clearly informed that he/she has the right to consult with an attorney and to have that attorney present during questioning, and that, if he/she is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent him/her.
Importantly, when a person invokes their right to counsel, any questioning must immediately stop. In addition, the authorities may not resume questioning a person that has invoked their right to counsel unless he or she initiates conversation.
What Should I Do if I am Arrested?
Ask for an attorney, immediately. The assistance of an attorney can ensure that your rights are protected, and in some cases may even be able to have the case against you completely dropped. Individuals who proceed unrepresented often obtain a much less ideal result than those who have counsel. As a result, the first thing you should do when accused of a crime is request to speak to an attorney.
Contact a Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you or your loved has been accused of a crime, you should contact an attorney as soon possible. Steven Goldman is a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who is dedicated to obtaining justice for each client he represents. Call our office at 773-484-3131 or 847-215-260 to schedule a consultation.