Posted on September 1, 2017

When must Police Provide me with a Lawyer?

When a suspect is subject to custodial interrogation, law enforcement must admonish the suspect of their Miranda warnings. Part of Miranda provides that a suspect has the “right to an attorney” and “if you cannot afford one, one will be appointed to you.” If a suspect asserts their right to an attorney, the question becomes, how are they appointed one?

Contrary to popular belief, law enforcement do not provide an attorney once a suspect asserts their right to counsel. Instead, the court appoints an attorney. Therefore, you will not speak with counsel until you appear before a judge who appoints an attorney to represent you.

However, once a suspect unequivocally asserts their right to an attorney, police must cease all questioning. If law enforcement fails to scrupulously honor a suspect demand for an attorney and continues to question the suspect, then all statements made by the suspect will be ordered suppressed and inadmissible.

If you’re under investigation for a crime, it is best to retain an experienced Orange County criminal defense lawyer to represent your rights and inform law enforcement your attorney will be speaking on your behalf.

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