Police make 10 million arrests each year, but that doesn’t mean it is any less stressful when you find yourself in the middle of an arrest. Getting arrested can be incredibly overwhelming for everyone involved. You may be wondering what to do next, who to call, and what your rights are.
Before doing anything, try to remain as calm as possible and treat the arresting officers with respect. Any action after an arrest could work against you, so it is best to adhere to these top recommendations following an arrest.
Do Not Resist Arrest
After an arrest, fight for your rights in court, not when you’re being taken into custody.
Even if the arrest was illegal or you do not agree, do not resist arrest. A person who chooses to use force can be charged with resisting arrest or battery of an officer. The arrestee may also suffer serious injuries if the officers use additional force.
Keep yourself as calm as possible and remember your rights.
Invoke Your Miranda Rights
“Arresting officers have the obligation to inform the person in custody that he or she has the right to a criminal defense attorney, and the right to have a defense attorney appointed if he or she does not have the resources to pay for one,” notes George H. Ramos, a criminal defense attorney in California. After being “booked”, which usually means being photographed and fingerprinted, you will be read your Miranda Rights.
Generally speaking, it is almost never a good idea to wave your Miranda rights. Staying silent until you have had a chance to speak with a criminal defense lawyer can usually help your case and protect your rights.
Call for Assistance
In the majority of states, you are allowed to make a phone call to a family member, a bail bondsman, and an attorney using a phone from the police station or jail. Once booked or processed, you will most likely not be able to access your cell phone. Therefore, it is highly recommended to have a few numbers memorized to ensure you are able to get the help you need after an arrest.
Keep in mind that all calls are recorded, unless the call is to your attorney!
Get Legal Help
Hiring a criminal defense lawyer can make a significant difference in your case. If possible, it is recommended to get a criminal defense attorney involved as early as possible. A criminal defense attorney can help you through the legal process and help you prepare for what is to come. A legal professional can also help you craft a strategy and use negotiation skills to have your charges dropped or lessened.
Many criminal defense lawyers offer free, no-obligation consultations and can help you explore your legal rights. Even if you choose not to hire one, you can glean additional insight into your case and what rights you have.
While being arrested can be overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. By using these four incredibly helpful tips, you can process and navigate your arrest with a sense of calm and direction.