An arrest can happen to anyone. Even if you are an upstanding citizen, you may make a mistake – or face an accusation – that puts you on the wrong side of the law. Whether you committed the crime in question, you must understand how to protect yourself when facing arrest. By remembering these five things, you may be able to lessen its impact.
Maintain your composure
If you think that your arrest is wrongful, you may feel tempted to fight it. Yet, you can contest it once your case goes to court. Resisting arrest will aggravate police officers and could make an otherwise peaceful situation turn violent. And it could also lead you to face additional charges on top of those you originally received.
Record the information of the arresting officers
Many officers make arrests without violating the accused’s rights. Yet, the police may not have informed you of your rights. Or, they may have harmed you during your arrest. To protect yourself, you will want to record the arresting officers’ names, badge numbers, patrol vehicle numbers and the agencies they represent. If you need to file a complaint after your arrest, this information will prove vital when doing so.
Exercise your right to remain silent
Upon your arrest, you may think that cooperating with the police will help you achieve a favorable outcome. Yet, law enforcement officials can – and will – consider anything you say as evidence against you. By law, though, the police must inform you of your Miranda rights. Among these is your right to remain silent after your arrest and during questioning. Guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, you will waive this right by speaking to police. While you can invoke it at a later date, anything you say before then becomes admissible in court.
Exercise your right to an attorney
The police may pressure you to speak, even if you have invoked your right to remain silent. No matter whether they have, you will want to exercise your right to counsel – also part of your Miranda rights – as soon as possible. Guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, it is particularly helpful to put a stop to police questioning. By invoking your right to counsel, you do not have to speak with the police without the assistance of an attorney. And by consulting one, you will know what to say, if anything, and when to say it, if at all.
Make a phone call
In Georgia, you have the right to make a local phone call after your arrest. When making your call, the police cannot listen in on your conversation. They may only allow you to make one call, though, and you will want to use it to contact your attorney. If you can make additional calls, you will want to use these to contact family members or a bail bondsperson.