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Know Your Rights When You’re Under Arrest

In New York, the police take their duties very seriously — even when it comes to laughter. Long Island resident Robert Schiavelli was chuckling in his living room until police charged him with disturbing the peace. Allegedly, Robert Schiavelli’s laughter was audible from across the driveway.

Oftentimes, a criminal arrest is just plain laughable, or possibly a sign of police abuse. Although the police have the legal power to arrest, it must be conducted in a lawful manner in order to hold up in court. Whether or not your arrest is justified, it’s important to understand your legal rights.

An arrest occurs when an officer restrains you, either physically or verbally, so that you can answer for an offense or a crime. The officer may take you into custody immediately or give you an appearance ticket for a later date and must inform you of your Miranda rights:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • Anything you say can be used against you in court
  • You have the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with you during interrogation
  • If you can’t afford a lawyer, one will be appointed to you
  • You must confirm that you understand these rights and whether you are willing to talk

Generally, an officer needs a warrant in order to make a lawful arrest. However, warrantless arrests are allowed in certain circumstances ― such as if he or she witnesses a crime or an attempted crime. If you are arrested without a warrant, the officer must inform you of the reason for the arrest.

If you resist the arrest, the officer is allowed to use any means necessary to achieve the arrest, which includes force. The officer can also conduct a search incident to the arrest. However, evidence spawned from an unlawful search or arrest is inadmissible in a criminal trial.

If you have been arrested, you have the right to make a phone call. Use that right, and contact a NYC criminal defense lawyer to look at the facts of your case and determine whether the police acted in a lawful manner. If the police neglected their duties, the charges against you may be reduced or dismissed. At the Law Offices of Tacopina & Seigel, our legal team has extensive experience defending the rights of the accused.

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