Your Rights If You Are Arrested
It is essential to know your rights and properly exercise them during an arrest. Below are your rights after an arrest:
- The right to remain silent: You do not have to answer any questions about the alleged crime. Invoke this right immediately if you are arrested. Anything you say during your arrest or interrogation can impact you later.
- The right to know why you are being arrested: Police officers must tell you why you are being arrested. If a warrant calls for your arrest, you have a right to read it. Even if you believe this is a false charge, do not try to resist.
- The right to an attorney: You are not required to answer questions without an attorney present. It is within your rights to have a lawyer with you while answering questions.
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Proving Innocence After an Arrest
Being arrested is a stressful situation – especially when a defendant didn’t commit the alleged act. When a defendant claims they “didn’t do it,” they will need to demonstrate presumption of innocence and alibi.
What Is the Presumption of Innocence?
All people accused of a crime are legally presumed to be innocent until the point of conviction, whether that comes by way of trial or plea. This presumption means that the prosecution must convince the jury of the defendant’s guilt rather than the defendant having to prove innocence. The prosecution will then need to convince the jury (in some cases the judge) that the defendant is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
What Is an Alibi?
An alibi defense consists of evidence that the defendant was somewhere other than the scene of the crime at the time of the offense. For example, assume Mark was accused of committing a burglary on Lincoln Ave at 11:30 p.m. on December 21st.
To prove his innocence, Mark will need to provide evidence, such as his brother’s testimony, that he was at the movies from 10:45 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. on the night of the 21st. In addition to that, Mark can show his movie ticket stubs and credit card statements to prove that he was not present at the time the crime was committed.
Building a Defense When Guilty
In some cases, the prosecutor may have strong evidence that shows the defendant did, without a doubt, commit the alleged crime. In this case, an attorney will need to develop a strong defense to help the defendant get their charges reduced or even dismissed.
For example, the attorney should understand the circumstances of the case to determine if the defendant acted in self-defense, was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, has a mental illness, etc. The circumstances of the case will ultimately shape the defense – explaining the reasons behind the crime.
How to Obtain Strong Legal Defense
The attorney you hire to defend you will ultimately determine the outcome of your case. You depend on your attorney to look at every avenue and possible defense to help you get your charges reduced or even dismissed. Unfortunately, public defenders are often overloaded with cases and simply don’t have the time to thoroughly go over your case and determine all your legal options.
When your freedom, reputation, and livelihood are on the line, you need an experienced, knowledgeable, and skilled attorney on your case. As former prosecutors, the Phoenix criminal defense attorneys at Suzuki Law Offices use insider knowledge to guide clients through the criminal justice system. With decades of experience, our firm is able to fight effectively for our clients’ futures.