All persons taken into police custody (including juveniles) have the following rights:
- You have a right to telephone your lawyer, friend or family member(s) to notify them of your arrest.
- You have a right to speak with your lawyer at the place where you are being held.
- You have a right to remain silent. This means you can remain completely silent or answer some questions and not others.
- You have a right to have your lawyer present if you are placed in a police line-up.
- Before the police question you, they must tell you that:
- you have the right to remain silent;
- any statement made by you may be used as evidence against you;
- that you have a right to first speak with a lawyer and, if you wish, to have a lawyer present when you are being questioned. The police must also tell you that if you want to speak with a lawyer before questioning and you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be assigned to you without cost. The questioning must stop until you have a lawyer. If you agree to allow the police to question you and they begin questioning you, you may still change your mind and ask for a lawyer before the police continue the questioning.
If you have been arrested, “explaining your side of the story” is not recommended. Keeping silent is the most important right to exercise. The arrest is based upon the belief of those questioning you that you are guilty of a crime. The stakes are too high: you should speak with a lawyer regardless of whether you feel that you can handle the situation yourself. Bypassing a lawyer’s advice does not gain any advantage in dealing with the arresting agency.
Once arrested and booked, the person must be taken to court “without unnecessary delay.” If the court is not then open, you may be held in custody until it is open.