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Know Your Rights in Atlanta, GA

Advice From a Qualified Criminal Defense Attorney

Your actions at the time of arrest can either greatly help your situation or seriously hurt your situation. It is important to know what your rights are and what you should and should not do after an arrest. Follow these simple rules after an arrest, and you will be in the best position to assist your criminal defense lawyer in defending you against the charges.


  • You have the right to remain silent. Keep quiet! With the exception of your name, do not answer any questions that the police ask you. No exceptions. Ask for your lawyer and be very clear about that. You should say something like, "I must have a lawyer present before I will agree to answer any of your questions" or "I won't answer any of your questions without my lawyer present."
  • Call your attorney immediately or ask for one and don't say ANYTHING until they are present. You can call me or tell the police to call Tanya Miller at 404-720-8111.
  • Treat all police officers and law enforcement personnel with respect. No matter how rude they are being to you. Cooperate and never run from the police or attempt to resist arrest.
  • Make sure that your attorney is present for any lineups or testing (such as the taking of DNA samples).
  • Let your attorney negotiate with the police and prosecutors, especially if they offer you some kind of deal to cooperate. Never try to negotiate with the police or the prosecutors about a deal on your own.


  • Do not answer any questions about the incident. Not to the police, strangers, friends, family or people who might be in a jail cell with you. Nobody. Do not speak about the incident with anyone except your lawyer. The only conversation you should be having is the one where you are asking for your lawyer.
  • Do not believe the things the police tell you in order to convince you to answer their questions. They are not your friends--they are there to do a job. The police are trained to lie to you in order to get you to give them information and will say all sorts of things to win your confidence or scare you into giving a statement. The law allows them to do this! Do not let them convince you that you must speak to them now (without your lawyer) because it will be better for you or because it is "the right thing to do." You need your lawyer to help you decide that for yourself.
  • Do not argue with the police. Be respectful and courteous and wait patiently for your lawyer to be provided to you.
  • Do not ever give the police permission to search you, your car, your personal property or you home. The police must have a search warrant to search most things. When the police know they need a search warrant and have no legal basis to get one, they usually resort to asking for your permission to search. Do not let them tell you how it's in your benefit to allow them to search your property. It NEVER is.
  • If you are taken to a police station or to jail after arrest, do not speak to anyone over the phone about the incident. In general, you should speak only about getting a lawyer to anyone and everyone. Once you have a lawyer, she can advise you on what you should and should not say over the phone. Jail phones are monitored and the calls are recorded. The police WILL use what you say on them against you. No matter how good you think you are at talking in "code," trust me, it is best that you say nothing.

If you can't remember all these rules, just remember (1) you have the right to remain silent and (2) you have the right to an attorney. Exercise both.

Call Atlanta Defense Lawyer, Tanya F. Miller

If you have been arrested, call Tanya Miller at 404-720-8111. I would be happy to provide you with the expert assistance that you need to get through this difficult time.