Steps to Take if You're Arrested: Your Rights and Responsibilities
Facing arrest is a stressful and unsettling experience, but it's important to remember that you have rights and responsibilities in this situation. Understanding what to do if you're arrested can make a significant difference in how your case progresses.
Know Your Rights
Before we dive into the steps to take if you're arrested, it's crucial to understand your rights. In the United States, the Constitution provides several fundamental rights that protect individuals when they are taken into custody. These rights include:
The Right to Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent and not incriminate yourself. You can politely decline to answer any questions beyond providing basic identification information.
The Right to an Attorney: You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, the state will appoint a public defender to represent you.
The Right to Be Informed of Charges: You have the right to know the charges against you. Law enforcement must inform you of the reason for your arrest.
The Right to Refuse Searches: You have the right to refuse searches of your person, belongings, or property without a warrant. In some cases, there may be exceptions, such as during a lawful arrest.
Steps to Take When You're Arrested
Remain Calm: While being arrested is a distressing experience, it's essential to remain as calm as possible. Panicking or resisting arrest can lead to further legal complications.
Invoke Your Right to Remain Silent: Politely, but clearly, state that you wish to remain silent. You do not need to answer any questions beyond identifying yourself.
Invoke Your Right to an Attorney: Request an attorney immediately. This is a critical step to protect your rights.
Do Not Consent to Searches: You have the right to refuse searches without a warrant. Make it clear that you do not consent to any searches of your person, belongings, or property.
Cooperate with Arresting Officers: While you should invoke your rights, it's important to remain cooperative and follow lawful orders from the arresting officers. Resisting arrest can lead to additional charges and complications.
Remember Details: Pay attention to the circumstances surrounding your arrest, such as the officers involved, any witnesses, and any use of force. These details may be important later.
Do Not Discuss Your Case: Avoid discussing your case or the details of your arrest with anyone other than your attorney. Anything you say can and will be used against you.
Contact Your Attorney: As soon as possible, contact an attorney or have a family member or friend do so on your behalf. Your attorney can provide guidance on the next steps.
Being arrested can be a frightening experience, but knowing your rights and responsibilities is essential for protecting yourself in the legal process. Remember that you have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and the right to know the charges against you. Cooperate with law enforcement, but be sure to assert your rights firmly and calmly. With the assistance of an experienced attorney, you can navigate the legal process effectively and work towards the best possible outcome for your case. If you or a loved one has been arrested, the criminal defense team at Roth Davies is here to help. Contact us by reaching out on our website or give us a call today at (913) 451-9500 for a free consultation.