Being arrested in Florida is never fun. Even if you are ultimately not charged with a crime, being arrested is a scary, stressful event that is fraught with hazards. Following is a discussion of the civil rights every Floridian has when being arrested in Florida.
Right To Remain Silent
Perhaps the most critical right a person has upon arrest is the right to remain silent. Although a person may choose to speak with law enforcement while under arrest, the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution prevents the state from compelling a person to speak while in custody beyond providing basic biographical information needed for booking purposes.
Right To Be Advised That Statements Made To Police Would Be Used Against You
Dovetailing with the right to remain silent is the duty for law enforcement to make arrestees aware that if they choose to speak with police, those statements are available to be used against them later on during the criminal proceedings.
Presence Of An Attorney If Desired
Individuals under arrest in Florida also have the right to an attorney while being questioned by police and in custody. Arrestees in Florida also have the right to have an attorney present during any and all parts of the criminal proceedings against him or her.
If an attorney is requested, police may not ask questions of the arrestee at any point afterwards without his or her attorney present.
Right To Attorney’s Services If Indigent
If an arrestee is unable to pay for the services of an attorney, they have the right to be provided one by the state. The state may not require the arrestee to defend the case against him by himself simply because he did not have the funds to hire an attorney.
Right To Humane Treatment
Despite the nature and severity of a crime, law enforcement are not judge and jury. An arrestee has the right to humane treatment while in custody and may not be deprived of necessaries like food and water or exposed to physical violence from law enforcement.
Right To Not Be Held In Custody Without Being Charged With A Crime
The state may not simply hold a person in custody without a valid reason. Prosecutors must charge an arrestee with a crime within 48 hours of arrest. Otherwise, an arrestee must be released.
Right To The Presumption Of Innocence
Irrespective of the nature of the crime or the sufficiency of the evidence against him, an arrestee must still be regarded as being innocent of that crime while in custody. Until a court rules otherwise, arrestees are not subject to punishment regardless of the crime(s) alleged against him.
Right To A Speedy Trial
Although this is often waived by defendants, arrestees have the right to a speedy trial. That means that the state must work towards bringing the defendant to trial as soon as it can without purposefully delaying the proceedings.
Right To Not Be Subject To Cruel And Unusual Punishment
Before, during, and after trial, those in custody have an Eighth Amendment right to not be punished in a cruel and unusual manner. What actually constitutes “cruel and unusual” is sometimes subject to debate, but generally any treatment that violates one’s basic human dignity is considered cruel and unusual.