While no one wants to be in that position, understanding how to handle yourself if you get arrested is important. When arrested, you are likely to experience several emotions that include fear, disbelief, or anger. An arrest begins when you are stopped on suspicion of committing a crime, and you cannot freely terminate the questioning that ensues.
A police officer can take someone into custody when they are under arrest. The other thing about being arrested is that it can be a life-changing event that may be irreversible. No matter what you feel, there are certain issues that you should remember. Read on to learn the things that you need to keep in mind if when arrested.
Things to remember when arrested
Keep in mind that the officer placing you under arrest does not have the right to force you to say anything. This means that by the law, you have the right to remain silent. They do not have the right to reprimand you for not speaking.
However, you must tell the officer that you wish to remain silent to avoid further interrogations. The law also requires that people under arrest have to provide their names.
Cooperate With the Arresting Officer
When arrested for any alleged offense, you should know that the dictum “innocent until proven guilty” applies in all situations. Therefore, you should not resist arrest even when you think that your rights are being violated. Do not fight, argue with the police, or try to run away since this can worsen your predicament. You should not threaten the arresting officers with violence or any action that can affect the dispensation of their duties.
Contact Your Lawyer
Soon after your arrest, you should request a lawyer immediately. This will help protect your legal right to remain silent once you notify the officers that you need to talk to your lawyer first. As trained people, the arresting officers know what it means when you tell them to talk to your lawyer. When you call your attorney, the police officers have no right to listen to your conversation. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer, you have a right to be represented by a free one.
If you are facing a criminal offense, it is a good idea to hire an experienced lawyer with a good understanding of criminal law. A criminal defense attorney will do everything possible to prevent a conviction since it can change your life for the worse. For instance, a conviction on different criminal charges can make it difficult for you to find employment. You may also pay a hefty fine, or face jail time. All these elements will severely impact your personality together with the integrity of your family.
You Can Refuse To Be Searched
You have a legal right to refuse the search of your home or vehicle unless the arresting officers have a search warrant. If the law enforcement agents have no search warrant, they have no right to forcefully enter your property or search your car. Additionally, you must know that the police officers have no right to search the places or other items that are not listed on their search warrant. Even if the police officers present a search warrant, you can still enjoy your right to remain silent.
However, in some instances, the officers are empowered to search your vehicle if they believe that it contains incriminating evidence of a crime. If the car is impounded, then the police can search it without seeking your consent. Any evidence found in your car will be used in court. The arresting officers should tell you the valid reasons why they intend to search the vehicle.
Follow Pretrial Terms
If you are released from custody on bail or bond, you should follow all the terms and conditions that you are given. Violation of your bond conditions is an offense, and you can find yourself in prison again. If you are not allowed to leave the state, you must reside at the address that you provide as part of the bail conditions. On top of that, you should not interfere with witnesses when the law enforcement agents are still conducting their investigations.
When arrested for whatever offense, you must always remember that you have a right to remain silent, and the arresting officers can only talk to your lawyer. Law enforcement officers know different interrogation tricks, and they may offer to assist you which may be a ploy to solicit more details from you. An arrest can alter your life in many ways, so you must act diligently to handle the situation. You should know more about the charges that you are facing and the likely consequences of your arrest.