What To Do When Arrested
Being stopped by law enforcement is a stressful thing to endure, and it can go from uncomfortable to bad within moments. There are strategies everyone should use when in a situation where they could be arrested. Remember, the burden of proof and de-escalation falls on the hands of police officers. However, this doesn’t mean that every member of law enforcement acts in a way that they should by law and protocol. Here is some insight to consider to keep your best interests the priority:
Reduce risk to yourself.
If you were pulled over by law enforcement, both the driver and passengers have the right to stay quiet. If you are the driver, turn off the car, roll down the window halfway, and place your hands on the steering wheel. When prompted, show police your registration, proof of insurance, and driver’s license. If you are a passenger, you can ask if you are allowed to leave. If so, then you can remove yourself from the situation quietly.
Remain silent and call a lawyer.
You should remain silent and ask for legal representation immediately after being arrested. Do not answer inquiries or provide explanations to any member of law enforcement, despite their attempts at conversing with you. Anything you say can be used against you later. If you call someone you know from jail, the police may be listening. If you call a lawyer, police are not permitted to listen in on these phone calls.
File a complaint if needed.
If you suspect that your rights were violated during your arrest, write down what you remember about the interaction, including details like the patrol car number, officer’s badge number, and which department they are from. If hurt, get medical care right away and take pictures of injuries. Then, file a written complint with a civilian complaint board or the agency’s internal affairs division. You can file anonymously.
As a criminal defense lawyer from Farkas & Crowley, P.A. would advise their clients, you must put your rights and safety first and consult with a lawyer shortly after an arrest, for the best chances at a favorable outcome.