Your dream vacation turned into a nightmare the moment you saw those flashing lights. Getting arrested was not part of your plan.
Your mind races and you head fills with possible scenarios. You are ready to shout your defense to the officer. Your panic and fear is normal, but don’t forget your rights.
Even though you may be thousands of miles from home, your constitutional rights still apply. For example,
1. You have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. Silence is a powerful tool. You are not required to say anything to the police or those interrogating you unless you have your lawyer present.
2. You have the right to an attorney. No matter how bad your situation looks, you have the right to have an attorney defend you during your criminal proceeding.
3. You have the right to a speedy trial. If you are charged for an offence that may carry a six-month or longer jail term, you have the right to a speedy trial. In that situation, you also have the right to a jury trial.
4. You have the right to defend yourself. You can present evidence that is favorable to your case and challenge the evidence that is not. What the police officer says happened is not the last word.
5. You have the right to appeal the decision if you are charged. Remember, if the trial doesn’t go your way, you have the right to an appeal process.
Getting arrested is extremely stressful. It is easy to forget your rights which are there to help your situation.
If it happens to you or to your loved one, you may have many questions about the future. A good lawyer with experience helping people in these kinds of situations is invaluable. You should contact a criminal defense attorney to ask questions about your particular legal issue.