Rights During an Alabama Drug Arrest
Individuals have certain constitutional rights when they are being questioned or pulled over by police for suspected drug charges. They have the right to be silent and not to say anything to the police other than identifying themselves and show their driver’s license.
All individuals also have the right to an attorney, and they should contact one as soon as possible. In order to best understand the full scope of your rights during a drug arrest in Alabama, be aware of any rights that have been disrespected, and what to do following your arrest, an Alabama drug lawyer is the best help and should be contacted as soon possible.
Following an Arrest
There are a few different ways that arrests can happen. First, they are handcuffed, put in the back of a patrol car, and they may be taken to the precinct and turned over to a detective or to another police office for possible questioning. Directly following an arrest, individuals should invoke their right to an attorney. Once an individual has done that and expressed they do not want to make any statements until their attorney is present, law enforcement has to respect that.
Police do not have to tell a person the truth necessarily. There is no law that says that they cannot try to convince a person into making the statement, as it is not illegal for them to encourage cooperation from that person, but following a drug arrest in Alabama, individuals need to hold strong that their rights are constitutionally protected and they can wait for their attorney.
Consenting to a Search
A person does not need to consent to a search of their vehicle if they are stopped by a police officer on the street. That is true whether they have anything that they want the police to find or not. No citizen has to consent to a search of their vehicle or their home. If the police officer has a search warrant then they have to let them, but if they get stopped for a traffic offense and the officer requests to search the person’s car, they can refuse.
A person needs to ask if they are under arrest or free to go, and they do not have to consent. That does not mean the officer is not going to search, but giving consent is one thing—the officer taking it upon himself in the face of a person’s refusal is another. Until then, that search would only be legal if they had cause, such as if someone was smoking marijuana in the car at the time of being pulled over.
Cooperating with the Police
Situations like being pulled over and smoking marijuana in the car might give rise to a right of that officer to search the car and to get that person out of the car and search, but if they stop a person for speeding, they do not have to cooperate with the police. A person has a right to refuse to say anything during a drug arrest or suspected arrest in Alabama. In fact it is recommended that they should not discuss anything with the police. They should identify themselves and provide information such as their driver’s license, but they do not have to answer any other questions and can request an attorney at that point.