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What are your rights when you are arrested?

If you find yourself being handcuffed and taken into custody in Georgia, you may feel very confused and not understand what rights you have. It does not help that once you are arrested, you feel as if you must do everything you are told or risk getting into more trouble. However, you have rights that law enforcement must respect. Some of those rights are read to you when you are arrested, so listen carefully to what the officer says.

The ACLU reminds you that you do not have to give a statement or talk to anyone because you have the right to remain silent when put under arrest. You do need to answer basic questions, such as if you are asked your name, then you need to provide that. However, never answer any questions about the arrest or the situation. You can reply by requesting an attorney instead. 

You also have the right to request an attorney be present and should do that right away. If you cannot afford an attorney, you will be assigned one when you go in front of the court. Typically, you will see a judge within 48 hours. Some exceptions may apply, such as government-recognized holidays when the court is not in session. 

In the meantime, you should be given a phone call shortly after your arrest. If you call an attorney, then that call cannot be monitored, but if you call anyone else, anything you say can be used against you, so be careful. This information is for education and is not legal advice.