Representing clients charged with misdemeanor & felony cases throughout Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco & Marin counties.
Information about your rights
The officer never read me my Miranda rights:
Many people have learned that they have the right to remain silent and right to Lawyers by watching television and the movies. Yes, it is true, we do have these rights. However, these rights only attach when we are arrested or placed in custody and given the chance to incriminate ourselves. Strangely enough, a blood, breath, or urine test is not considered self-incrimination. That is why people do not have the right to a Lawyer before a State test is given. A routine traffic stop does not rise to the level of custody such that people must be told of their rights. However, if the officer leads you to believe that the detention is going to be more than a brief detention, Miranda warnings and your right to have a lawyer may be required.
Do I have to let the police search me?
NO! Police may only search a person, place, or thing if they have probable cause to believe that something illegal exists. However, there are numerous exceptions to this rule. For instance, a police officer can search you and anything within your grasp once you are lawfully arrested. An officer may frisk a person to see if they have weapons on them. An officer may search anything if he sees something in plain view and he has a legal right to be there. An officer may search a car if he smells burnt marijuana. THE EXCEPTIONS ARE GREATER THAN THE RULE. Initially, we had many rights to be secure from illegal searches. However, through the years, courts and whittled away at our rights so that law enforcement would have an easier time finding drugs and weapons.
Do I have to speak with police?
No! Many people feel that they can talk their way out of trouble. We believe that this is not going to happen. Anything you say to an officer is considered an admission and will be used against you at a trial. All spontaneous utterances will be used against you.
IF YOU ARE A SUSPECT IN A CRIME, LAW ENFORCEMENT IS NOT TRYING TO HELP YOU. The police are trying to gather as much evidence as they can to help them make a case. You have no legal obligation to speak with them. Please let an attorney speak to them on your behalf. Even if you are not guilty of anything, the most subtle questions will trip you up and make it seem like you did something wrong. You are not obligated to be a witness against yourself.
What is the Fifth?
In recent times, many people have pleaded the Fifth. This is a person invoking their legal right not to incriminate themselves.
What should I
do if I have not been arrested but think a charge is soon to occur?
Do I have to allow the police to search my house or car?
No! The police have every legal right to ask for your permission to search your car or home. However, you have every legal right to refuse. Unless there is probable cause to search, the police have no business looking through your personal items.
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