What Should I Do If I Am Arrested?
While no one ever plans on being arrested, it is a good idea to know what you should and shouldn't do in case it ever happens. By understanding what is expected of you and what circumstance can make your situation worse, you will be better able to handle the distress and fear that comes with being arrested.
First of all, there are certain things that you should do if you ever find yourself in this scary situation. Do attempt to stay calm and try to only speak to the police officer in a respectful, polite manner and tone of voice. By staying calm you will be better able to assess the situation for what it really is and better able to recall all of the details of your arrest later for your attorney. By being polite and respectful you will cut down on the chances that the arresting officers will become angry or aggressive, which could lead to your being injured or harmed.
Do give the basic information that the officers are asking for without being surly or rude. This information includes your name, address, and telephone number, the name of an immediate family member and their phone number and the name of the place of your employment. Not only do the police officers need this information to file the forms of your arrest, they will also need it when setting your bail.
Do exercise your right to remain silent. You are not required by law to answer any questions that could incriminate you and you do not have to speak to the police, district attorney or anyone unless you are in the presence of your lawyer. If the police continue to ask you questions or harass you for answers, you should simply keep repeating the phrase, "I wish to speak to my attorney".
Do exercise your right to make one phone call. This call should probably go to your lawyer but in a case where you do not have a lawyer, you should call a close family member and instruct them to obtain legal counsel for you as soon as possible.
Do attempt to get the names and badge numbers of the police officers that arrest you. You have a right to this information but for various reasons, some officers may attempt not to disclose this information to you.
There are also a number of things that you should not do if you ever find yourself under arrest.
Do not resist arrest. Even if you believe that the charges held against you are false, insisting on your innocence at this point will not help you or stop the arrest. Wait until you are taken to the police station and allowed to call an attorney. Once your attorney arrives, speak through him or her to defend you innocence.
Do not act in an aggressive manner or yell out threats about filing harassment complaints. Aggressive behavior will only cause the police officers to try to restrain you and your bad behavior could be held against you later when you are trying to fight the charges in court.
Do not complain when the police officers handcuff, search, fingerprint or photograph you. All of these processes are a normal result of being arrested. Go through the process with as much cooperation with possible.
While being arrested will never be a pleasant experience, the way you act and the things you choose to do and not do while going through the process can go a long way toward easing the pain, inconvenience and humiliation of the experience.
About the Author: Jody Ehrhardt write for http://www.lawyervista.com, a website where you can find a lawyer in your city or state, including http://www.lawyervista.com/24-state-IL-illinois-criminal_lawyer.html Illinois criminal lawyers and http://www.lawyervista.com/24-state-WA-washington-criminal_lawyer.html Washington criminal lawyers