Your Legally Protected Rights When You Are Arrested in St. Louis, MO
Most people have a decent understanding of their fundamental rights under the Constitution, including the so-called Miranda Rights. Some people can even recite a few of these rights. But when someone is actually taken into custody by a police officer, they usually end up singing like a canary and telling the officer everything he wants to hear. Why do people end up doing this? Most of the time it is because the officer will bully, intimidate, or outright violate the person’s Constitutional rights until they get the answer they want.
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First of all, you have the right to avoid making any incriminating statements. This is normally expressed to you (if at all) through the Miranda warnings (“You have the rights remain silent”). But the police officer will not provide you with the Miranda warnings until you have been placed in custody. Being “placed in custody” usually means that you are no longer free to leave and walk away from the officer. But the officer can and will ask you questions before the Miranda rights are read to you (as was just mentioned, the officer does not have to read you the Miranda warnings until you have been placed in custody). So whatever information you provide to the officer before the warnings can and will be used against you. Most people do not realize that this distinction even exists.
$450 TO TAKE CARE OF MOST MISSOURI MISDEMEANOR CHARGES
The second thing that you should know is that you do not have to answer any question that the police ask you at all. Let me say that again so that it is clear: you DO NOT have to answer any questions at all. A lot of St. Louis criminal defense attorneys will tell their clients not even to shake your head up and down in response to the officer’s question. Now having said that, the officer may very well tell you something like: 1. “You have to answer my questions”; 2. “If you do not answer my questions, you’ll get into a lot of trouble”; 3. “I just need you to answer this one question, that’s all”; 4. “Answering my questions will make things go easier for you.”; 5. “I just need you to cooperate and answer this simple question right now.” But regardless of how threatening, or persuasive, or honest the question sounds, you absolutely do not have to answer any question from a police officer.
PLEADING GUILTY TO THE CHARGE IS NOT YOUR BEST OPTION!!
These are just a couple examples of the rights that you have. However, the only way to fully understand the full extent of your rights is by speaking with an experienced attorney. The affordable St. Louis criminal defense attorneys at The Law Office of Jennifer Alter-Rieken, have been helping people with their misdemeanor charges for over ten (10) years. Our goal is to make sure that the charges leveled against you do not stay on your permanent record, and do any lasting damage. And we want to do all of this at an affordable price. The fees for a typical misdemeanor case start at $450. But the initial consultation to discuss your legal issues is free of charge. So contact us today!!
We have two main locations: in the Central West End of St. Louis, at 1 North Taylor (on the corner of Taylor and Laclede), 63108; and in the Twin Cities of Festus / Crystal City, at 1000 Truman Blvd (Highway 61/67), 63019. The initial consultation is free of charge. So contact us today to learn more!!