During the 20 years that we have been handling criminal defense cases, we at Wruble Law LLC have observed that many of our clients were not fully aware of the extent of their constitutional rights at the time of their arrest. If you are currently under investigation for a criminal offense, please remember that law enforcement officers are not your friend. If you decide to speak with them, they will try to pry information out of you that may be incriminating. Their goal is to get as much of the story as possible to make a report so that charges can be filed against you. It is not their job to prove your innocence.
It is important that you are aware that you have the following rights:
- You have the right to remain silent — Anything you say can, and most likely will, be used against you in a court of law. You can exercise this right by simply remaining silent. Politely stating only your name will not get in you in trouble - just mention that you wish to speak with an attorney before answering any questions.
- You have the right to an attorney — One of the most important things that you could do after an arrest is to retain the representation of an attorney. You have the right to a lawyer who can be present during all questioning, hearings, and trials.
- You have rights in your home — Generally, a search warrant is needed if law enforcement is to search a home. The warrant will give both the resident notice and the limitations as to what can be searched. You can ask officers to show you the warrant before they search your house. There is the exception of “exigent circumstances” that can apply to a home search. These are typically emergency situations, such as: someone’s life is in danger, someone is a suspect and is fleeing into a home, or some evidence may be destroyed.
- You have rights in your car — Law enforcement cannot lawfully search your vehicle unless they have probable cause to do so, or you consent to a search. Often officers have a "suspicion" or a "hunch" and will ask to search your car. You do not have to consent to a search! If you do give law enforcement permission to search your car, anything that they find can be used as evidence against you in a criminal matter.
Any violation of these rights should be mentioned to your lawyer right away because a violation may be grounds for a reduction of charges, dismissal of the case, or for suppression of evidence. Our firm can take the necessary measures in order to help defend your rights.