Being arrested is a high-stress situation that has the potential to escalate quickly. If you have been arrested, the most important thing you can do is control your behavior. Stay calm and do not express aggression towards a law enforcement officer. Follow instructions, be cooperative, but know your rights.
Here is a quick list of your rights:
- You have the right to remain silent: You do not have to answer any questions beyond identifying yourself. This right includes any questions about your prior whereabouts or travel plans, where you were born, and your citizenship status. If you choose to answer any questions, do not lie or give false information.
- Ask to See a Warrant: You do not have to consent to a search of your home or belongings without a warrant. An officer may pat you down if they suspect you have a weapon, and they may obtain a warrant or proceed to search your property without your consent. However, voicing your objection to a search may help you during later legal proceedings. If a search is conducted, do not interfere.
- Pay attention: Keep your eyes and ears open while you’re being arrested, and try to remember every detail that led up to your arrest. If something went wrong, like violating your rights, you’ll need to tell your attorney about it later.
- You have the right to an attorney: As soon as you get a chance, write down everything about your arrest. Include in your notes: what led up to your arrest, who saw your arrest or was with you when you were arrested, what police said during your arrest, what questions police asked you, and why police told you that you were being arrested. Should you decide to hire a lawyer they will ask you all these questions as well.
If you have been arrested, you should call an attorney immediately. You should not sign or make any statements until you have an attorney present to help protect your rights. Often in high-stress emotional situations, even the best intentions to cooperate can have damaging consequences.
If your encounter with law enforcement results in your arrest or if you feel your rights were violated during an encounter, contact the lawyers at Hoover Kacyon, LLC. We are dedicated to supporting our clients. We deliver the highest quality legal representation from a team of professionals while also providing excellent customer service.