As a Mesa Criminal Law Attorney, I have been addressing the question, “what do I do if I am arrested?” In Part One of my blog, I discussed what it means to be arrested and who can arrest you. I will now discuss the next steps in the arrest process. Being placed under arrest authorizes the police to search the individual who was arrested. This search authorization is an exception to the search warrant requirement and includes the immediate area around the individual who was arrested. So, for example, if an individual is arrested in their vehicle, the police officer would be able to search the area inside the passenger portion of the vehicle. This authorization would also include anything found on the person arrested or any bags, purses etc… located in the immediate area. Police would not be authorized under this exception to search the trunk or other areas of the car that the person being arrested did not have access to at the time of arrest. As a result, what usually accompanies an arrest is a request by the police to search your vehicle. Many people, believing that the police are going to search it anyway, go ahead and give consent. This allows the police to search the vehicle thoroughly and completely including the areas that they are NOT authorized to search under the arrest exception to the search warrant requirement. Just because you have been arrested, does not mean that consent to search must be given. If the police have probable cause to search they will not to ask for permission. If they have a warrant to search they will not to ask for permission either. If they are asking for permission to search it is because they need it and cannot conduct a lawful search without it. Accordingly, an individual who has been arrested is completely within their rights to refuse the police the authority to search. If the police continue to search without authority, then anything obtained in that search can be challenged at a subsequent court hearing based on an illegal and unlawful search. Also, following an arrest, police will request that the individual participate in an interrogation. This does not have to be a formal interrogation where they ask questions and expect receive answers. But, any attempted interrogation following arrest requires that the individual be advised of their Miranda rights. You can read my previous blog where I discuss this topic in detail by clicking here. Individuals must voluntarily waive their rights to Miranda and then voluntarily answer the questions in order for it to be a valid interrogation. Without exception, if an individual is arrested and a request for interrogation or an interrogation ensues, that individual should invoke the right to remain silent and request to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. It is not enough to simply say to the police “should I answer your questions” or “do you think I need an attorney”. Asking these questions is not a proper invocation of Miranda rights nor is it a request for an attorney. Individuals must clearly state “I am refusing to answer your questions and I want to speak with an attorney”. Again, refusing to answer questions and requesting an attorney is not being uncooperative. Exercising your constitutional rights does not mean being you are being uncooperative. It only means that you are preserving your constitution rights under the law. Another part of being arrested that is often misunderstood by the general public is the belief that they have a right to a phone call. Technically, there does not exist a constitutional right to a phone call. Most agencies, following the completion of their investigation and the need to detain the individual will have to make a decision as to whether not they are going to “book” this individual into jail or release them. If they choose to release them, often times they will provide the courtesy of a phone call to arrange for transportation. When an individual is “booked”, and if the judge requires them to post bond, they will be given the opportunity to make a phone call to arrange for that bond to be posted. This type of courtesy phone call is completely different from the type of phone call that needs to be made in order to speak with an attorney. Merely requesting to speak with an attorney will not require the police to provide the subject with a phone and the opportunity to speak in private with an attorney. Only if an individual is being arrested and investigated for a DUI related offense are they able to temporarily delayed investigation in order for them to consult with an attorney about certain decisions that need to be made as a part of the investigation. It is very important if a request such as this is granted in a DUI investigation that individual use this time and opportunity to actually speak to an attorney to get the importantly advice that they need at the time. This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney, Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to www.mycriminaldefenselawyeraz.com, or contact an attorney in your area.