Visit Our Blog
Read Out Blog
Case Evaluation
Charged With A Crime?

OK You’re Arrested – Now What? Answering Your Questions

Colorado Criminal Cases

Do police have to tell me why I’m being arrested?

 No. Police are not required to tell you what you’re being arrested for. Within 48 hours, if you have not “bonded out”  you have right to be brought before a judge and advised or released.

When brought before a judge, that’s when the charges against you will be read.

Nevertheless, at the time of arrest, police will typically give you a basic explanation for why you’re being taken into custody. Remember to keep your mouth shut and ask for a lawyer.

How long can I be detained without being formally arrested?

That depends. The answer is as long as it reasonably takes police to conduct the investigation. In Colorado – the standard is about 20 minutes.  If you choose to challenge a detention, your lawyer will have to argue that police kept you longer than necessary under the circumstances. If the judge agrees, any criminal charges that resulted from your detention will likely be dropped.

Remember that detentions are voluntary unless you verbally ask to leave. Any time police detain you, it’s a good idea to ask if you’re free to go. If the officer says you may leave, it’s up to you to leave the scene of the encounter. If you choose to stay, the detention is automatically legal.

What is “resisting arrest” In Colorado?

Resisting arrest is just like it sounds. If police have probable cause to arrest you and you delay or resist them in any way, you can be charged with a misdemeanor of resisting arrest. Examples of resisting arrest include running away from police or providing an officer with a false ID.

Be aware that officers may threaten to arrest you if you refuse to comply with a search request or refuse to answer their questions. Don’t get tricked. You always have the right to refuse police searches (“Officer, I don’t consent to any searches”) and refuse to answer questions without a lawyer present. (“I have nothing to say. I want to see a lawyer.”)

Resisting arrestat C.R.S. 18-8-103 – in Colorado occurs when:

(1) a person

(2) knowingly

(3) prevents or attempts to prevent a peace officer

(4) acting under color of his official authority,

(5) from effecting an arrest of the actor or another by:

(a) using or threatening physical force or violence,

(b) using any other means which creates a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to the police officer or another. Resisting arrest is a class 2 misdemeanor and can be found at C.R.S. 18-8-103. 

If the Police Officer is injured in through your resisting, you can be charged with a mandatory prison charge of Assault in the Second Degree, C.R.S. 18-3-203. Also, be aware that just touching an officer could get you tasered or beaten and stuck with a felony charge for assaulting a police officer.

Once police have arrested me, do I have to answer their questions?

NO. If you’re arrested you have the right to remain silent and to see an attorney.

If you’re arrested, don’t rely on police to inform you of your right to remain silent and see a lawyer. Use the magic words

 “I’m going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer.”

If police persist in questioning you, repeat the magic words. The magic words are like a legal shield. They’re your best protection if you’re under arrest.

Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in court. So don’t try to talk yourself out of the situation, and don’t make small talk with police either.

If you are innocent, it is especially important not to talk to the police until you have a lawyer. Our prisons are full of people who claim they are innocent, and many of those people are actually telling the truth.

What are my rights when I’m under arrest?

If you’re arrested you have the right to remain silent. You have the right to an attorney. You have the right to a review of a warrantless arrest by a judge within 48  hours and charged within 72 hours. You have the right to be treated fairly under the law.

If you’re arrested, don’t rely on police to inform you of your right to remain silent and see a lawyer. Use the magic words “I’m going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer.” If police persist in questioning you, repeat the magic words. The magic words are critical. They’re your best protection if you’re under arrest.

Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in court.

 

Don’t try to talk yourself out of the situation, and don’t make small talk with police either.

If I’m arrested, aren’t police required to read me my Miranda rights in Colorado?

NO. Many people believe that they can “beat the case” if the officer doesn’t read them their Miranda rights during an arrest. This is a myth.

The only time an officer must read a person his or her Miranda rights is when:

(1) the person has been placed under arrest,

AND

(2) the officer is about to question the person about a crime. For example, if you’re placed under arrest after consenting to a search request and confessing to ownership of found contraband, police do not need to read you your rights unless they want to question you about an unrelated crime.

The courts have made clear that police do not have to tell you about your right to refuse searches. Also, despite the myth to the contrary, an officer does not need to get your consent in writing; oral consent is completely valid.

If you’re arrested, don’t rely on police to inform you of your right to remain silent and see a lawyer. Use the magic words “I’m going to remain silent. I would like to see a lawyer.” If police persist in questioning you, repeat the magic words. The magic words are like a legal condom. They’re your best protection if you’re under arrest.

Remember that anything you say can and will be used against you in court. So don’t try to talk yourself out of the situation, and don’t make small talk with police either.



More Information:

If you found the information provided on this webpage to be helpful, please click my Plus+1 button so that others may also find it.

___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
DTC Quadrant Building
5445 DTC Parkway, Penthouse 4
Greenwood Village, Colorado, 80111
Primary Web Site:  http://www.HMichaelSteinberg.com
Colorado Criminal Law Blog:  www.Colorado-Criminal-Lawyer-Online.com
Main:  303.627.7777
Cell:  720.220.2277
24/7 Pager:  303.543.4433
FAX (Toll Free):  1.877.533.6276
Always investigate a lawyer's qualifications and experience before making a
decision to retain that lawyer or, for that matter, any professional ...in any field.