If you ever get stopped by the police and are in need of the services of criminal defense attorney in the New York City area, you need to know what to do if you are being questioned. Understanding your rights and knowing what you should or should not say may be the difference between mounting a reasonable defense or giving more information than what is required by the law.
Being questioned by the police can be intimidating, especially if you are innocent or have a reasonable defense to mount. Here are some things you should considered if you are ever questioned by the police and do not have immediate access to counsel for advice.
Understand Your Rights
Under the law, you have the right to remain silent when stopped and questioned by the police. You also have the right to request for the assistance of counsel and have counsel provided to you under what is known as the Miranda warning or ruling. This edict is the result of a famous Supreme Court ruling in 1966 (Miranda v. Arizona) whereby the Court ruled that if a person is denied their fifth amendment right to remain silent any information provided that may be incriminating would be deemed inadmissible at trial.
You should always be respectful when approached by police and provide answers to questions that are truthful and factual (such as name, date of birth, address, etc.). To do otherwise would be deemed obstruction of justice and may result in a criminal charge.
Ask for a Lawyer
Hand in hand with understanding your rights (as per your Miranda rights) is that you understand that you have the right to an attorney. The standard language that is found in the Miranda warning read to you as a criminal defendant, which is, “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?”
Under the law you are entitled to the aid of counsel when questioned by police. As long as you have been properly Mirandized by law enforcement and acknowledge that you understand you rights by law, you should immediately ask for an attorney. Once this request is made, an officer of the law may not ask you any additional questions without counsel being present to advise you on your rights. This remains true whether you’re being questioned for disorderly conduct in NY or criminal possession of a weapon.
Do Not Resist or Attempt to Flee Law Enforcement
If you are stopped by police, questioned and then asked to accompany the officer to a police station, you more than likely have been placed under arrest. Regardless of whether your Miranda rights have been read or not, you should never, under any circumstance, resist an order by a law enforcement agent or attempt to flee. Such an action may further complicate your legal situation or place you in harm’s way. It is always better to follow the orders that a police officer gives you and ask for an attorney to determine your legal status and circumstances.
No matter what reason you are being questioned, make sure you have a winning team on your side by seeking out a consultation with Queens’ best criminal defense attorney, Mahmoud R. Rabah. For years, Mr. Rabah has battled alongside countless New Yorkers as they fight for their innocence in all types of New York criminal court cases. Let Mr. Rabah battle for your freedom and contact the Law Office of Mahmoud R. Rabah today.