What Should You Do When You Get Arrested?

policeman with a handcuffed person

“You’re under arrest.”

Hearing these three words from a police officer can be unnerving, whether you’re guilty of an offense or not. Facing arrest can be a humiliating and traumatic experience and you might not be able to think clearly when it happens to you. You will be worried about the legal consequences, the reaction of your friends and loved ones and whether you will be able to reach a bail bonds agent to help you get out of jail. However, if you ever do find yourself in this situation, here are some tips that may come in handy.

Keep Your Composure

It may be difficult to stay calm and relaxed but it is important that you keep your composure when facing arrest. Even if you’re innocent, you should listen to the police officer as he reads you your rights. Staying calm will allow you to remember the events that took place leading to the incident and will also help you focus on what you need to do next.

Be Polite

You should remain professional and speak in a restrained tone, even if you feel that the arresting officer is being violent or is using inappropriate words while arresting you. Such action from a police officer may not deserve respect from your end but it is better to take the high road rather than act in retaliation. When you fight or answer back, it might just give the police officer more reason to be rough in how he treats you.

Also, you should never resist, run or touch the police officer while you’re being arrested. This might just compel the police officer to charge you with additional offenses, such as resisting arrest or battery of an officer.

policeman on the radioDon’t Consent to Searches

If you’re arrested in traffic, you should never permit a police officer to search you or your car. If he asks you to step outside your car, they can frisk you for weapons only if they suspect that you have one. If you’re being arrested at home, never let the police inside your property. Tell them politely that you don’t consent to searches. Remember that refusing to a search does not mean that you’re admitting you’re guilty. Police officers can only conduct a legal search on you or your property if they have a search warrant.

Exercise Your Rights

Once you arrive at the police station, only provide information such as your name, address, or social security number or show them an ID for identification.

Some police officers, even if after they have read you your rights, will try to ask you for details about the incident you were involved in. Police officers are trained to ask questions that might persuade you to reveal incriminating information. Politely tell them that you would prefer to answer questions only in the presence of your attorney or the lawyer appointed by the court, if you cannot afford your own lawyer. Never to talk to anyone about your case and that includes your relatives and friends. Remain silent until your lawyer arrives.

The golden rule when it comes to being arrested is to remain calm and quiet. No matter how hard a police officer tries to coax out information from you, you should keep in mind that whatever you decide to say may be used against you in court.

About Eleanor Sharp
Eleanor Sharp is the author of AGSE Law. As a paralegal, she has worked with attorneys in many fields to ensure their clients get the best advice and representation. She is passionate about helping people understand the complexities of the legal system so they can make better decisions for themselves. Eleanor loves reading, travel, and spending time with her family. She hopes her articles will help others navigate life’s legal intricacies with confidence.