Frequently Asked Questions

1.)  What Happens After I’ve Been Arrested?

For information on the legal process and what happens from arrest to trial, go to our “How Court Works” page:

http://bickerton-law.com/know-your-rights/how-court-works.html

2.)  What Do I Have to Tell the Police?
If you are pulled over or detained by police, you should provide identification and proof of insurance. Otherwise, you are under no legal obligation to talk to police or investigators. If the police appear at your door without a search warrant and want to talk to you, you do not have to let them into your home and can refuse to speak with them. Whether you are approached at home, work, or in public, you must ask to speak to an attorney to protect your rights.

3.)  Can the Police Search My Car?

If a motorist violates a traffic law, is driving erratically, or acts suspiciously, a police officer has the legal authority to pull him. If the officer smells marijuana, alcohol, or suspects you of drunk driving, they may be able to take certain police action. Even if you haven’t been drinking or using drugs, if an officer sees anything illegal (a bong, a joint, a syringe, an open container of alcohol) in your car, he may believe he has probable cause to search your vehicle. The attorneys of Bickerton & Bickerton routinely and most often, successfully, challenges these searches.

If you are pulled over for a broken tail light, speeding, or other traffic violation, the police cannot search your car without probable cause. If there is nothing in plain view to give rise to suspicion that you have committed a crime, the police don’t have a reason to search your car. If asked by the police for permission to search your car, you can refuse. However, the police may impound your car in order to secure a search warrant to search its contents later.  The attorneys of Bickerton & Bickerton will challenge these search warrants.

4.)  Can They Search My Entire House?

If police arrive at your home with a search warrant, contact Bickerton & Bickerton immediately and then ask to see the warrant.

A search warrant should say the areas that will be searched and what the police will be looking. If a warrant gives the police the right to search your entire house, they have the right to search the entire house. However, they can only look in areas where what they are looking might reasonably be found. If they are looking for rifles, they should not be going through cookie jars or looking in your microwave. However, even if the police go beyond what the warrant allows them to, do not attempt to interfere with their search.  They may charge you with additional offenses.  If the police violate the warrant, we will work in court to suppress any illegally obtained evidence so the Commonwealth can’t use it against you.

5.)  When Should My Miranda Rights Be Read?
Your Miranda Rights should be read before you are subject to a custodial interrogation.  What this means is once you are no longer free to leave the scene or move around as you choose and right before the police start asking you questions, you should be read your Miranda rights.  But you should NEVER answer police questions without having your lawyer present.