When you are arrested, everything seems to happen very fast. There are many situations and different circumstances that can lead to an arrest. No matter how or why it happened, it is important to know your rights. Read our top 6 things you should know if you are arrested to ensure that you handle your situation as effectively as possible.
- Hire an attorney. It is crucial to do this as soon as possible following the arrest. You ALWAYS have the right to an attorney. Do NOT make any statements before you have proper representation, as what you say can be used against you later on. If you’ve been arrested and need a free consultation, contact us here.
- Your rights.
- You have the right to remain silent and if you wish to do so, politely verbalize it to the police.
- You are allowed to refuse a search of yourself, your car, or your home –and you should unless the officer has a warrant.
- You are allowed to ask if you are under arrest, if you are not it is allowed and advised that you leave.
- Most importantly, you always have the right to an attorney. If the police tell you that you do not need one, you do not have to listen to them.
- Whether you are a citizen or not, all of these constitutional rights will apply to you.
- Do not resist arrest. If you are arrested, it’s important that you know what to do, and what not to do. Follow this quick checklist to protect yourself. Whether you think you are guilty or not, never resist arrest from a police officer. Additional charges can be pressed if this happens. If you touch or threaten the police officer, “assault & battery” charges can also be pressed against you.
- It is legal for the police to lie. The police are allowed, even trained, to lie to you in order to get a confession. They can tell you things such as they have witnesses or evidence proving that you committed a crime even if they do not. It is important not to confess to anything and contact an attorney as soon as possible.
- Be respectful. It is important to remain composed and courteous at all times. When in contact with a police officer always show respect whether you are guilty or not. Even if you are under an extreme amount of pressure and are nervous, always tell the truth. If you are not truthful, it can end up making your case more difficult.
- Miranda Rights. Named after the Supreme Court’s decision in Miranda v. Arizona, the Miranda Rights address the basic rights given when being put under arrest. We have all heard these lines in various movies and television shows, but do you actually understand what rights it presents you? They will be read to you at the time of the arrest, but knowing them ahead of time is tremendously beneficial. You have the right to remain silent, anything can be used against you in court, you have the right to an attorney, an attorney will be appointed to you if you cannot afford one, and if you agree to an interview with a police officer, you may stop it at any time.
Remember to avoid these mistakes at the time of your arrest:
- Do not try and convince your innocence
- Do not run from the police
- Do not resist arrest
- Say as little as possible
- Do not be disrespectful to the police
- Do not believe everything the police say
- Unless they have a warrant, absolutely do not let officers into your home
For a comprehensive check list of what to do, be sure to visit our What to do if you are arrested page.