If you ever find yourself in trouble with the law, it is incredibly important to know the rights you are entitled to. By understanding the following information, you’ll feel confident in the legality of any interaction you have with any member of legal system, whether it be cops or judges.
If a policeman stops you on suspicion of a crime, ask if you are under arrest. If you are not, they cannot hold you and you may walk away. They may perform a pat down to search for weapons, but they cannot check your pockets unless they suspect you have a concealed weapon. However, if you are under arrest, they can legally search your entire body.
The police have the right to check any area of your vehicle you can reasonably reach from your seated position. They cannot search your house unless they have a warrant, they believe an emergency is happening inside, or they chase someone into your home. The Louisiana Public Defender Board compiled a guide to your rights that elaborates on these situations.
You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. You may invoke either of these rights at any time.
Upon being arrested, the law requires your initial court appearance to be held within 72 hours of your arrest. This does not include weekends, so unfortunately, you may have to spend more time in jail if you are arrested on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
If you have been arrested and are held in jail, charges must be filed within 45 days of the arrest for a misdemeanor and within 60 days for a felony. The number of days is increased if you are not held in jail.
At your initial court appearance, bail will be set. You have the right to a bail and the courts should factor in your ability to pay the bail amount. If you cannot afford bail on your own, we at Troy’s Bail Bonds are here to help!
- 3 years for capital offenses
- 2 years for felony offenses
- 1 year for misdemeanor offenses
If you and your attorney can prove you were not given a speedy trial, the court must set aside the conviction and dismiss the charging document. If you haven’t gone to court yet, the charges must be dismissed.
Now you should be able to determine whether you are being afforded your rights the next time you interact with a member of the law. If you find yourself in a sticky situation and in need of bail, know that Troy’s Bail Bonds will be there for you!