While the police have a lot of authority, they cannot infringe on your rights. These rights extend to numerous aspects of the criminal justice process, including being detained and questioned by law enforcement.
When the police detain a person for questioning, the police are legally required to read them their Miranda rights. These rights include your right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present during questioning. The police must also respect your rights regarding unlawful detainment. You can only be held for so long until the police must either press charges or let you go.
If you or someone you know has been arrested, our Montgomery County criminal defense attorneys can help you protect your rights. If you believe the police violated your rights, we can help suppress any unlawful information and evidence. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 for a free case evaluation.
Your Rights When You Are Questioned by the Police in Pennsylvania
If you are detained and questioned by the authorities, it might feel as though you have nowhere to go and no one to turn to. On the contrary, you have important rights against the overreach of police power, and our Pennsylvania criminal defense attorneys can help you assert those rights.
When you are held for police questioning, the police are required by law to read you your Miranda rights. You have very likely heard these rights recited on TV many times, and they include your right to remain silent and your right to have a lawyer with you during questioning.
You have rights regarding how long the police can detain you for questioning. In general, after a person is arrested and taken in for questioning, they cannot typically be held for more than 48 hours without assessing formal charges. They can be held for as long as 72 hours because weekends and holidays are usually not counted toward this time limit. If there is not enough evidence to warrant charges at that time, the police must let the person go.
If the police infringe upon any of these rights when you are taken in for questioning, our Philadelphia criminal defense attorneys can help you challenge your arrest and any evidence obtained by the police.
Your Right to Remain Silent During Police Questioning in Pennsylvania
Your right to remain silent is important to remember and invoke when the police question you. Talking to the police is usually a very intimidating experience, and telling the police no might be difficult, but you do not have to answer any incriminating questions.
The purpose of police questioning is to uncover incriminating information about the case against you. Many people are arrested and brought in for questioning somewhat early in the investigative process, so the police might not have a lot of other evidence. They are relying on you to incriminate yourself during questioning.
Questions about your identity, where you live, and other routine questions are typically not considered part of interrogation and should be answered. If you refuse to answer questions about your identity, it will take the police longer to identify you, and you may be detained longer.
If you are brought in for questioning, you should invoke your right to remain silent as soon as possible. Do not answer any questions until you have a lawyer to look out for your rights and best interests.
Your Right to Have an Attorney Present During Police Questioning in Pennsylvania
Should you choose to answer any questions law enforcement asks, you have the right to have a lawyer there with you. If you need a lawyer present during questioning, call our Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyers for help.
In some cases, people being held by the police for questioning decide to answer some questions before invoking their rights. You may stop questioning at any time and demand an attorney. You can consult with your lawyer about the questioning, and your lawyer can help you decide if you should continue talking to the police or refuse to answer any more questions.
How Long Can the Police Detain Someone for Questioning in Pennsylvania?
How long the police can detain someone depends on how and why they are detained. When a person is arrested and detained for questioning, the police must abide by specific time limits. Exceeding the time limits without pressing charges may be an unlawful detention.
In Pennsylvania, the police can typically hold a person for 48 hours before talking to prosecutors about formally pressing charges or letting them go. If a person is detained without any charges being assessed for more than 48 hours, the detention may become unlawful.
Call our Bucks County criminal defense attorneys immediately if the police have held you or someone you know for more than 48 hours and there is still no word on whether criminal charges will be assessed. We can work to get you out of police custody and back home with your family.
What If the Police Violate My Rights During Questioning in Pennsylvania?
If the police violate your rights, our Delaware County criminal defense lawyers can help you challenge any evidence illegally obtained. For example, if the police fail to read you your Miranda rights before questioning, you can suppress any incriminating information you told them. Suppresses evidence cannot be used against you in court.
Your rights must be read to you at the start of questioning. If the police begin asking you questions and interrupt to read you your Miranda rights, anything you said before your rights were read can be suppressed. This is why it is important to invoke your rights and demand an attorney during questioning. If your rights have not yet been read, your lawyer can help you right away.
Contact Our Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorneys for Guidance
After an arrest, the police can take you in for questioning, but they must respect your rights in the process. Any violations can be used to undermine the case against you. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 for a free case evaluation.