Facing an arrest can be one of the most frightening experiences for a person. However, having your wits about you and behaving in a calm manner is important during this time. Panicking or talking too much can actually jeopardize your case.
If you are arrested or are being detained for investigation, here’s what you can do to protect your rights:
Stay calm. Panicking is not going to help you.
Avoid the need to talk too much, even if you feel like you will be able to explain your position and make everything all right. It doesn’t work that way at all. In fact, when people panic, they say things that can be held against them later. Don’t simply assume that you can talk your way out of any situation- you may actually end up making the situation a lot worse.
Do not make any statement to the officers.
Ask for an attorney.
If you’re asked any questions, avoid responding, and ask for your attorney. Any questions must be answered only in the presence of your attorney.
If police officers have shown up at your home for an arrest, do not allow officers to conduct a search of your home. Do not obstruct any search, however. Sometimes, officers may barge in and search your property anyway, but you have the right to refuse consent, and this is very important. Your defense lawyer can later use your lack of permission for a search to allege that the search was unlawful and illegal.
Even if you are being arrested at home, the same rules on silence apply. Don’t answer any questions. You also do not have to make a statement. Inform the police officer that you want to speak to your lawyer. Similar rules are in place when it comes to searching your car.
Do not resist arrest, even if you believe that you have not done anything wrong.
If you are currently under investigation and believe that you may be arrested soon, prepare yourself as well as your family members. If you are a single parent, make arrangements for your children to be taken care of. Keep the phone number of your lawyer handy.