Understanding your Rights While Dealing with Authorities
California residents have certain rights when dealing with the authorities. Having a basic understanding of your legal rights under California law can help you protect yourself if you are arrested, accused of a crime, or simply stopped by the police. Individuals have different rights depending on whether they are in or outside of their home.
If a law enforcement officer arrives at your home, you have the right to keep your door closed. You have the right to refuse entry to your home to any officer who does not have a warrant to search the premises. If the officer has a warrant, you have the right to review it. If you choose to allow an officer into your home, anything they find may be used against you in court. If you refuse to let them in, they will have to obtain a warrant. If they return with a search warrant, it is important to remember that the warrant gives them the right to search your home, but you maintain your right to remain silent.
If a police officer stops you outside of your home, you have the right to ask the officer if you are free to go. If the officer refuses to let you go, you have the right to remain silent beyond providing your name and identification. Remember, anything you choose to say to an officer may be used against you in court. It is your right to refuse to speak with the authorities until your attorney is present.
The skilled Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys at Sitkoff & Hanrahan have a long history of protecting the rights of Southern California residents. If you or a loved one has been arrested or charged with a crime, please call our experienced criminal defense lawyers at (866) 430-8383 before discussing your case with the authorities.