Some information here is from the State Bar of California. Be sure to watch the videos by a law professor and police officer detailing why you should never speak to a cop after being arrested without a lawyer present.
Whether you are an adult citizen or non-citizen, you have certain rights if you are arrested. Before the law enforcement officer questions you, he or she should tell you that:
These are your "Miranda" rights, guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. If you are not given these warnings, your lawyer can ask that any statements you made to the police not be used against you in court. But this does not necessarily mean that your case will be dismissed. And this does not apply if you volunteer information without being questioned by the police.
You can be questioned, without a lawyer present, only if you voluntarily give up your rights and if you understand what you are giving up. If you agree to the questioning, then change your mind, the questioning must stop as soon as you say so or as soon as you say that you want a lawyer. If the questioning continues after you request a lawyer and you continue to talk, your answers can be used against you if you testify to something different.
If you are arrested for a crime, particularly a serious one, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. He or she has a better sense of what you should and should not say to law enforcement officers to avoid being misinterpreted or misunderstood. The lawyer also can advise you or your family or friends on the bail process.
The amount of bail-money or other security deposited with the court to
insure that you will appear-is set by a schedule in each county. For some
traffic citations, you may be notified that you can forfeit or give up bail
instead of appearing in court. However, if you have any doubt, go to court
so a new warrant is not issued for your arrest for failing to appear.
Bail forfeiture does not apply to misdemeanors or felonies, and you must appear in court. If you fail to appear, your bail will be lost and a new warrant will be issued for your arrest. For traffic citations, a "bail forfeiture" works as a conviction for the traffic violation. Officers at the jail may be able to accept bail. If you cannot post or put up the bail, you will be kept in custody.
You have a right to be arraigned without unnecessary delay-usually within two court days-after being arrested. At the arraignment, you will appear before a judge who will tell you officially of the charges against you. An attorney may be appointed for you if you can't afford one, and the bail can be raised or lowered depending on the circumstances of the case. You also can ask to be released on O.R., even if bail was previously set.
these videos, a law professor and a police officer clearly explain why, if
you have been arrested, you should never talk to cops without a lawyer
present -- even if you are innocent. (This of course does not apply if you
are reporting a crime)
James Duane of the Regent University School of Law
Officer George Bruch of the Virginia Beach Police Department