During a prearrest investigation, there are steps that you will want to take to protect yourself. The police have to follow specific legal procedures when you’re arrested and taken into custody. Failing to do so, you could have a case against them or reason to have your own case dismissed. Your attorney will look into the actions taken against you to make sure they were within the confines of the law.
It’s important to note that the police are legally able to frisk you or perform a pat-down of your outer clothing if they stop you. They can only perform a full search of your surroundings and the items you’re carrying if you are arrested. If you are in your vehicle and they take possession, they may also search it.
That doesn’t mean that they are necessarily doing so legally because a stop, arrest and any subsequent searches have to be done in accordance with the law. This prevents officers from stopping and arresting anyone they want. There has to be just cause or reasonable suspicion.
During the prearrest investigation, the officer or officers may ask you questions. You’re not obligated to answer them. However, you may want to give them the basic information they’re asking for, like your name and other public information. You do not have to say or do anything that would incriminate you. It is your right to refuse a search of your belongings, though the officers may perform a pat-down to check for weapons.
If you have questions about your own arrest or investigation, it’s a good idea to talk to your attorney as soon as you can.