What Are Your Rights If You Are Arrested In McKees Rocks, PA?

If you are arrested in McKees Rocks, PA, you have certain unalienable rights. But what are those rights exactly? And how should you use them? Should you remain silent, for example? These are questions that many McKees Rocks residents have. As experienced criminal defense attorneys, the Wyland Law Group can answer your questions regarding your legal rights in McKees Rocks, PA. That is why we thought we would answer some of the most common questions concerning legal rights and criminal defense strategies. 

Do I Have The Right To An Attorney?

If you are arrested for any crime in Mckees Rocks, PA, you have the right to an attorney. But should you take advantage of this right? The answer is an emphatic, “yes!” An attorney can help you navigate the legal process in Pennsylvania. An attorney can also fight for all of your other rights–some of which we will examine below. If you are arrested in McKees Rocks, you should not try to handle your own defense. Rather, you should call The Wyland Law Group and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney in McKees Rocks, PA.

Do I Have The Right To Remain Silent?

“You have the right to remain silent.” How many times have we heard police officers in movies and TV shows utter this exact line when arresting a suspect. Most Americans are very familiar with this right. But should you stay silent when being arrested in McKees Rocks, PA? The answer, again, is a definite “yes.”  The police are correct when they tell you that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. If you are arrested, be polite and comply with orders, but do not say more than you absolutely have to. Really, all you should say is something along the lines of “I wish to invoke my right to an attorney.” From that point on, your attorney will be your mouthpiece. And keep in mind, “remaining silent” means keeping quiet on social media. All too often, we see clients who log on sites like Twitter or Facebook to complain about their arrest. This is a huge mistake. It is also a huge mistake to talk to your bunkmates about the circumstances of your arrest if you are booked in a jail cell. The less said, the better.

You may need to invoke your right to remain silent in different ways, depending on the circumstances of your arrest in McKees Rocks, PA. For example, if you are pulled over in traffic, you are required to show your license, registration, and proof of insurance. Beyond that, however, you shouldn’t say anything else to the officer. If a police officer stops you in public and starts asking questions, you are not required to respond. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a person who is merely approached by a police officer need not answer the officer’s questions. That being said, if you are in what is considered a “high crime area” and you run away, the officer may have cause to chase you. Your best bet is to keep quiet and walk away.

Should I Refuse Chemical Testing?

If you are pulled over for a DUI in McKees Rocks, PA, you will likely be asked to submit to chemical testing. You do have the right to refuse, but in this case, we recommend not doing so. That is because Pennsylvania is what is known as an “implied consent” state. This means that your consent to chemical testing is implied when you are arrested under suspension of drunk driving. Failure to submit to testing will result in a mandatory one-year license suspension (independent of your DUI sentencing). Here in Pennsylvania, the officer must warn you of these consequences, under what are known as the “O’Connell warnings” (separate from the Miranda rights). Your best bet is to comply and let your experienced criminal defense lawyer at The Wyland Law Group challenge the results of the testing.

Your Rights Concerning Search And Seizure

Here at The Wyland Law Group, we often get questions about search and seizure in McKees Rocks, PA. Some of the most common search and seizure questions that clients ask us include:

  • Can the police search my cell phone/computer?

  • Can the police search my garbage?

  • What if the search and seizure was not handled properly?

Regarding the first question: the police can look through your cell phone or computer, but they would need a warrant to do so (unless you give them your consent). If you are arrested, the police may be able to confiscate your phone without a warrant but to view information on your phone, a warrant is required. Your phone and your computer can provide officers with a massive amount of personal information about you, in addition to your contacts. These devices likely contain your banking information, health information, political affiliation, and search history–among other things. 

Regarding the second question: the police can look through your garbage and can likely do so without a search warrant. However, this is only the case if your trash is on the curb–the police cannot snoop around your property looking for trash. Finally, to put your mind at ease, if search and seizure was not handled properly, your experienced McKees Rocks, PA lawyer can file a “motion to suppress” on your behalf. This is an attempt to suppress evidence that was improperly obtained. 

You Have The Right To A Fair Trial

One thing to always remember, no matter what you were arrested for, is that you have the right to a fair trial in McKees Rocks, PA. An arrest does not necessarily equal a conviction. Unfortunately, many McKees Rocks residents assume that the fight is over as soon as they are arrested for a crime. The truth is, it has only just begun. If you are facing a trial in McKees Rocks, PA, call an experienced trial attorney at The Wyland Law Group. We will fight for your rights in court and ensure that you get a fair trial.