What Are My Rights If I Am Arrested In Texas?
If you are stopped or searched due to suspicion of a criminal offense, or you are arrested in Texas for a criminal offense, it is critical to understand that you have important rights. Some of those rights are ones that you can exercise, and others apply to a wide variety of circumstances involving arrest or detainment. What rights do you have when you are under suspicion for committing a criminal offense in Temple? The following are key rights that protect individuals who are under suspicion of having committed a criminal offense and those that are arrested.
Fourth Amendment Rights Against Unreasonable Search or Seizure
Under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you have a right against unreasonable search or seizure. The language of the Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
In practice, what rights does this Amendment give you? Based on case law interpreting the Amendment at the U.S. Supreme Court, if you are stopped on suspicion of a drug offense, such as drug possession, the police must have reasonable suspicion in order to stop you. In order to search you or your property, the police must have either a warrant or probable cause. While the Constitution does not expressly define what constitutes reasonable suspicion or probable cause, courts generally determine that the police had probable cause if they had a reasonable belief that a crime was committed or that evidence of a crime was in existence. If the police did not have probable cause, any evidence found on you or your property (such as your car or your home) will not be able to be used against you.
Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent
Under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you have a right to remain silent when you are arrested. Your decision to remain silent cannot be used against you if you are charged and tried for an offense.
Sixth Amendment Right to an Attorney
You also have a right to a lawyer under the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In the U.S. Supreme Court case Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), the Court interpreted the Sixth Amendment to give defendants a right to counsel, even if the defendant cannot afford to pay for a lawyer themselves. While there are exceptions to the right to counsel, you should know that if you are arrested, it is important to invoke your right to counsel. As soon as you do so, the police cannot require you to answer questions unless you revoke your rights.
Contact a Temple Criminal Defense Lawyer
While it is essential to understand your rights, it is also critical to seek help from a Temple criminal defense attorney who can assist you with your defense. Whether you are facing charges for a drug offense, an assaultive offense, a DWI, or another crime under the Texas Penal Code, our firm is here to assist you. Contact The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC for more information.