You have probably heard many criminal defense attorneys say in commercials that people should “call immediately.” It is one thing to tell people to call immediately, but it is another thing for people to be able to dial a phone when police officers handcuff them around their wrists. When it comes to being arrested, when should you, or can you call a defense attorney in a given situation?
How Soon Can I Call an Attorney After You Have Been Arrested?
If you have been arrested, whether it was for a DWI or assault, you will typically be brought into the police station and booked. You can invoke your Fifth Amendment right to legal counsel during this process. You can insist on having your attorney present before you answer any questions besides those related to your identity. However, you cannot call your attorney until after you have already been booked. If you do not have an attorney already, you may want to call a relative or loved one and ask them to find an attorney on your behalf. If you have been given the option of posting bail based, this is when you will be able to do so before being arraigned.
Should I Call a Criminal Defense Attorney Before the Police Interrogate Me?
Yes. Your Miranda rights guarantee you the right to contact an attorney before answering interrogative questions. Everyone arrested for a crime should take advantage of the right to obtain counsel. Police officers frequently try to interview suspects informally without formally placing them under arrest. They do so to avoid the requirement to Mirandize suspects and advise them of their right to an attorney. If a police officer is informally asking you questions before placing you under arrest, you should refuse to answer any questions without your attorney being present.
Police officers are not required to allow you to call your attorney when you are not under arrest. At the same time, you are free to leave and refuse to answer any questions. Many times officers may not have enough evidence against you to obtain a warrant to arrest you, so they try to ask you questions informally to gather more incriminating evidence against you. However, suppose police officers want to question you.
In that case, they must allow you to call an attorney and wait until the attorney arrives, or they may arrest you. At that point, you are legally guaranteed the right to have your attorney present during any future interrogations. Even if you are innocent and you want to help police officers solve a crime, it is still crucial to wait until your attorney is with you before you begin answering questions to ensure something you say will not be used against you if you become a suspect later.
Have You Been Arrested? Contact Abel Law Firm
If a police officer has told you that you are under investigation for a crime or you suspect you are under investigation, it is crucial you get in touch with an attorney. Even if you are not sure whether you are under investigation, it is beneficial to speak to an attorney to protect your rights ahead of time. Contact Abel Law Firm to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can fight for you.