Being arrested can certainly be an intimidating and overwhelming experience. In such a situation, it is crucial for you to be aware of your rights and understand how to protect yourself legally. As criminal defense attorneys, we aim to shed light on the rights that citizens possess during an arrest and provide valuable guidance on what to do and what not to do in this scenario.
Here are six things to remember if you find yourself facing an arrest:
Invoke Your Right to an Attorney
One of the most vital rights you have when arrested is the right to an attorney. It is essential to exercise this right immediately. When you are arrested, politely inform the arresting officers that you would like to speak with your attorney before answering any questions. Remember, this request is your constitutional right, and it is important to assert it to safeguard your interests.
Be Mindful of Your Actions and Words
During an arrest, it is essential to remain calm and composed, despite the stress and anxiety that may arise. While it is natural to feel agitated or upset, it is crucial to avoid aggressive or confrontational behavior. Cooperate with the arresting officers to the extent required by law, but refrain from volunteering any information or making any self-incriminating statements without the advice of a legal professional.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent
You may have heard the famous phrase, “You have the right to remain silent.” This statement holds true during an arrest. The Fifth Amendment protects you from self-incrimination, so you have the right to refuse to answer any questions from law enforcement until your attorney is present. This can be difficult to do if you feel you have done nothing wrong and you are under duress. Just be aware that every action you take is being monitored and noted by law enforcement at this point. Politely and respectfully decline to provide any information beyond basic identification details.
Understand the Limits of Law Enforcement Requests
While it is important to cooperate within legal bounds, it is crucial to recognize that not all requests made by the police during an arrest are legal or necessary. You are not obliged to consent to searches of your person, vehicle, or belongings unless the police have a valid warrant or there is probable cause. Politely express your refusal to consent to any searches and remember to remain calm and respectful.The officers could very possibly become agitated or try to convince you to allow them to search you any way, but do not react negatively to this. Do your best to not act out of fear and to hold your ground.
Always Comply with Identifying Information
When arrested, you are required to provide basic identifying information, such as your name and address. Failure to provide this information may result in additional charges. Cooperate with the officers in this regard but avoid answering any other questions until your attorney is present.
Make Sure to Document the Arrest
If possible, try to remember important details about the arrest, including the names and badge numbers of the arresting officers, any witnesses present, and the time and location of the arrest. Such information can be crucial for your defense and can be shared with your attorney to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the events.
In conclusion, being aware of your rights during an arrest is of utmost importance. Understanding what to do and what not to do can make a significant difference in protecting yourself legally. Remember to invoke your right to an attorney immediately, cooperate within legal limits, and assert your rights respectfully. By doing so, you can help safeguard your interests and ensure a fair legal process.
If you find yourself facing an arrest or any criminal legal situation, contact us as soon as possible to help guide you through the process and protect your rights.