If you are arrested in Westchester or anywhere else in Pennsylvania, you are going to get taken to jail. You will go through the booking process, and likely have a chance to make a phone call and then have a bail hearing soon after (maybe the next morning). From the moment you are approached by the police, you can and should invoke your right to remain silent. You can politely decline to answer any questions until your lawyer is present. Here, we want to discuss your rights after being detained in Pennsylvania.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
If you are stopped or arrested by the police, you absolutely should invoke your right to remain silent. If you are arrested, the police should inform you verbally or in writing that you have the right to remain silent. You need to politely decline to answer any questions. Your right to remain silent is derived directly from the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution.
You Can Typically Make a Phone Call
When a person is arrested and booked in Pennsylvania, they will typically be allowed to make phone calls upon request. Usually, individuals will be allowed to make more than one call, despite what you have heard on TV. Usually, there will be signs posted in the booking and jail area for detainees to read that let them know about access to a telephone. Any person who has been arrested is allowed to call an attorney, a bail bondsman, or their relatives or friends.
It is crucial to point out that just about any call you make from a detention facility is going to be recorded and monitored. Some of the best sources of information that prosecutors use are these initial phone calls. Anything you say on your calls can and will be used against you, so long as this call is not with your attorney.
You Will Have a Bail or Bond Hearing
Typically, when an individual is arrested, they will be entitled to bond or bail. In some cases, individuals will have a bond or bail hearing the same day they are arrested, but more often than not, this will happen the next day in front of a judge.
However, the court will likely impose certain conditions upon being released, depending on the offense. This can include no contact with a victim, no contact with any possible co-defendant, not going to the scene of the incident, no possession of firearms, and a prohibition on alcohol or controlled substances.
You Have the Right to an Attorney
Along with informing you of your right to remain silent, the police should also inform you that you have a right to have an attorney present when being questioned. You absolutely need to invoke this right. When you have a skilled criminal defense lawyer by your side, you will have an advocate who can speak on your behalf. Anything you say can and will be used against you, as you have heard on the TV shows. Let your attorney do the talking.
Please Call a Lawyer for Help Immediately
If you have been arrested or detained in Pennsylvania, you need to reach out to a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. Even if you think you have done nothing wrong or that it is no big deal, you need to let an attorney help you through this process. Situations can go from “no big deal” to a serious criminal charge very quickly.
If your loved one has been arrested, you can reach out to an attorney on their behalf. Sometimes, your loved one will not know the right steps to take to contact a West Chester criminal defense lawyer when they are currently detained. You do not necessarily need to wait until they are out on bail or bond to call an attorney. The sooner an attorney can get to work on your loved one’s behalf, the better.