On the scale of enjoyable experiences, being arrested sits pretty low on the list. Your arrest could be as common as reckless driving or driving while intoxicated to something with more severe ramifications like selling controlled substances or theft.
When stopped and interacting with the, it is best to remain silent when possible, not resisting, expressing that you “do not consent to a search,” and following protocol when directed.
If you do get charged, arrested and taken in for questioning, there are specific things you should and should not do.
If arrested, you should:
- Follow directions and tell the police your basic information, but only that.
- Exercise your right to remain silent by stating, “I choose to remain silent,” and “I want to speak to a lawyer” or “I want to speak to my attorney” if you have one in mind.
- Use your right to make three phone calls either immediately after you have been booked or within three hours from the arrest.
- The statute of limitations for phone calls expires after 3 hours. These three phone calls are critical; use them wisely.
- If you have minor children (under the age of 18), the police will grant you two additional phone calls to allow you to figure out childcare.
- Keep in mind that law enforcement will record your phone calls, except the call with your lawyer.
If arrested, you should not:
- Provide any information, including excuses or explanations, other than your name and other primary identifiers. Remain silent whenever possible.
- Unless you are speaking to your attorney, do not mention anything that has to do with your case, citizenship or immigration status (the police will be listening).
- Make decisions without speaking to an attorney.
Law enforcement has the right to try and coerce a confession by lying, intimidating and bluffing. Don’t fall for these tactics by always remembering and adhering to three important Miranda rights.
- You have the right to remain silent
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to talk to a lawyer and have them represent you during questioning.