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Mount Holly Criminal Lawyers Discuss Your Rights When Stopped by the Police

When an individual is stopped by the police it can be an overwhelming experience, especially when there is the possibility of criminal charges.  It is important to understand your rights under the law when stopped and questioned by the police.  Police normally stop individuals if there is suspicion of criminal activity, a traffic violation has been committed, or they are arresting an individual involved in a criminal act.

Mount Holly criminal lawyer, Michele Finizio, Esq., offers some answers to common questions individuals may have when stopped or interrogated by the police.

If an Individual Is Not Under Arrest, Can the Police Question the Individual?

Law enforcement can stop someone if they have reason to believe the individual is engaged in suspicious activity. Police officers are permitted to perform a “Terry Stop,” which is limited to questioning an individual about the suspicious activity. The initial stop can turn into an arrest if additional questions lead to other suspicious matters.

During a Terry Stop police are allowed to perform a weapons frisk and can remove items they believe are weapons. However, they are not authorized to remove items that are not weapons, even if the other items are believed to be contraband.

When Is an Individual Considered Under Arrest?

An individual may never hear the phrase “you are under arrest,” or be read their Miranda Rights, and still may be considered under arrest.  If an individual is not permitted to the leave the scene for a prolonged period of time the individual can be considered under arrest.  If the individual is placed in the back of a police car, handcuffed, or restrained it can be assumed that the individual has been placed under arrest.

What Are My Rights If the Police Ask to Search Me or My Possessions? Can I Say “No”?

If a police officer asks to perform a complete search, you have the right to refuse.  The only way they can perform a search without your consent is if they have the legal right to do so.  If they do not have the legal right to perform a search and you agree to the search, you have given your consent.

Does a Police Officer Have to Read an Individual Their Miranda Rights Before an Arrest?

The Police are not required to read the individual being arrested their Miranda Rights.  Miranda rights become important once a suspect is in custody and being questioned. If Miranda Rights have not been read to those in custody before questioning, the statements taken during the interrogation could be rendered invalid.

Can an Individual Be Arrested Without a Warrant?

If the offense was committed in the presence of a police officer, a warrantless arrest can be made. If a felony occurs, a police officer can also issue an arrest based on witness statements.

What Occurs If an Individual Is Arrested Without Legal Basis?

When an illegal arrest takes place, the individual can be charged and evidence will remain admissible in court. If the arrest was illegal, the questioning and evidenced acquired during the arrest could be deemed inadmissible.  Additionally, if the individual who was arrested illegally was found to have outstanding warrants they can be detained for those charges regardless of the fact that the initial arrest was illegal.

Mount Holly Criminal Lawyer Michele Finizio Provides Aggressive Legal Representation for Criminal and Traffic Court Matters in New Jersey

If you are or loved one is facing criminal charges in New Jersey, call the Mount Holly criminal lawyers at the Law offices of Michele Finizio to help ensure your rights are fully protected. Michele Finizio will thoroughly investigate your case to build a quality defense for anyone facing New Jersey criminal charges.  Our criminal law office is located in Moorestown, New Jersey, serving clients in Cherry Hill, Mount Holly, Camden County, Burlington County, Salem County and Gloucester County.  Please call us at 609-230-0374 or contact us online to see how our Mount Holly criminal lawyers can best serve your needs.

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I could not have asked for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my cases and the cases of those I've recommended, as if we were part of her family.

-D.A.