Being arrested can be stressful and confusing, but it is crucial to stay calm and aware of your rights. While you expect law enforcement officers to follow the rules and treat a person with respect, that is not always the case.
Although you do not have control over the actions of others, knowing how to navigate an arrest ensures you protect yourself.
One of the most important rights you have is the right to remain silent. You are not obligated to answer any questions from law enforcement except for basic identification information, such as your name and address. It is advisable to exercise this right and avoid volunteering information that could potentially incriminate you.
Do not consent to searches
You have the right to refuse searches of your person, vehicle or property without a proper warrant. Accordingly, you should clearly and politely express your refusal. Keep in mind that your consent can count against you in court, so be cautious.
Understand the charges
Upon arrest, law enforcement should inform you of the charges against you. Pay close attention to the details and make sure you fully understand the accusations you face. This information is important for building a defense later.
Cooperate with arrest procedures
While it might be an unpleasant experience, you must cooperate with arrest procedures. Resisting arrest or becoming confrontational can lead to additional charges. Stay calm and follow orders from law enforcement officers to avoid escalating the situation. In the event you feel law enforcement violated your rights, address the matter later once you have secured release.
Exercise your right to bail
In many cases, you have the right to bail. This means you can facilitate a release from custody before the trial by paying a certain amount of money or posting collateral. The specific bail amount will depend on the charges and your flight risk, meaning how likely you are to flee prior to the trial. Utilize this option if it is available and affordable to you.
Attend court dates
After posting bail, you must attend all scheduled court dates. Failure to do so can result in a warrant for your arrest and additional legal troubles. Keep track of your court dates to ensure you do not miss a mandatory appearance.
According to Statista, 4.53 million took place in the U.S. in 2021. If you are facing criminal charges, it is important to remember that you have rights, and that police officers have a duty to uphold these rights, even when it comes to criminal wrongdoing. Taking the right approach helps you address legal issues and get back on track once again.