No matter where you are, getting arrested can be an intimidating experience. It’s almost impossible to stay level-headed and figure out what to do when it happens.
Perhaps your initial reaction would be to defend yourself. You might want to hide out of fear or try to fight back because you believe the arrest is unjustified. But if you do not cooperate, you may face charges of resisting arrest.
So how should you behave if you suddenly find yourself in this situation?
Do: Remain calm
It is natural to feel alarmed and frightened when police officers suddenly show up and put you under arrest. But guilty or not, try to control your emotions and stay composed at this crucial moment. Be polite and respectful to the arresting officer. Your behavior may not help prove that you are innocent, but leaving a good impression may come in handy should your charges be brought to court.
Don’t: Talk too much
Understandably, you would want to explain your situation to officers. You might be inclined to talk to them and answer all their questions. But by doing so, you increase the likelihood of incriminating yourself. Remember that the court may use anything you say or do as evidence against you. So rather than trying to justify your circumstances, exercising your right to remain silent is better. As much as possible, refrain from speaking until you are in the presence of your attorney.
Do: Contact a criminal defense attorney
The ins and outs of the criminal justice system are challenging to navigate independently. You would need an experienced attorney for legal guidance and support. With their help, you can develop a defense strategy and ensure that your rights are protected.
Don’t: Consent to searches without warrant
To prove your innocence, you might think that it’s better to allow a police officer to search you, your belongings or your property. However, you must know you can legally refuse those searches if the police do not have a warrant. You have the right to do so. They can’t proceed with their investigation unless they provide a legal exception for not having a warrant.
Being arrested is a serious matter. All your actions during this crucial moment may influence the outcome of your case. Knowing how to behave and making informed decisions will help protect yourself and ensure fair treatment.