Any time you’re stopped or arrested by an officer in Mississippi can be stressful. You’re unsure of what’s going to happen or when you’re going to be able to go home. Even though the officer might not be clear when you’re arrested, you do have certain rights that you need to remember.
There’s no requirement that you have to say anything if you’re arrested. As part of your criminal defense, you could claim that the officer coerced you into giving information that resulted in the charges brought against you. You do not have to make a statement about where you’re going or even where you’ve been. You do have to provide your name as this could be considered an obstruction of justice if you provide false information.
Unless the officer has a warrant or clearly sees something that’s illegal in your possession, you don’t have to consent to a search. An officer could pat you down to ensure that you don’t have any weapons or drugs, but you would still have to consent to this type of search. It may be in your best interest to refuse unless the officer has a warrant.
One of your rights, when arrested, is to be represented by legal counsel. You are allowed to have someone present when you’re questioned and to refuse to answer questions until you do have an attorney present. You also have the right to court-appointed counsel if you’re unable to afford your own.
Although being arrested can be frightening, knowing your rights might make the process a bit easier. Any violation of your rights by the arresting officer might result in your charges being reduced or dismissed altogether.