What Rights Do I Have if I’m Taken in For Questioning?
The Sixth Amendment
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides many protections for those arrested, tried, or even brought into the police station for questioning . Unfortunately, this amendment is very broad, which may lead to some confusion for those being questioned.
Sometimes in an effort to close a case and get a conviction, law enforcement officials don’t always play by the rules. Even more often, they get away with this because those taken into the police station don’t always know their rights. This is particularly true when a person has been taken in for questioning without being arrested. An experienced Philadelphia criminal lawyer can help, though.
Those being questioned have the right to a speedy trial, although the amendment does not specify how much time should pass before trial. The amendment also allows those accused to have a lawyer present, but does not clarify how long a person can be held for questioning.
In most states, an adult can be held up to three days for questioning before they are ever charged with a crime. Most defense attorneys though, will begin to challenge the length of time a person has been in police custody after 24 hours. During this time the person being questioned must be treated reasonably. They cannot be coerced into giving a statement, have food or water withheld from them, or otherwise be treated unfairly.
Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Title 18
Under Pennsylvania’s Consolidated Statute Title 18, Chapter 49, it is illegal for anyone, including police officers, to falsify government documents or intimidate witnesses. If the police tampered with a defendant’s statement, they could have criminal charges pressed against them.
An Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer Will Protect Your Rights
Anyone taken into custody, even for questioning, has the right to refuse to answer any questions without a lawyer present. If you have been brought in for questioning, believe you will be, or have been placed under arrest, contact van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn, and Levin at 215-515-6892. We know your rights, and we will work hard to ensure they are upheld so you don’t have to face further questioning or possibly, an arrest.
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