Would I Know What To Do If I Got Arrested?
What to Do If I Got Arrested? It’s a question most of us take for granted we’ll never have to answer, but also a question that none of us can afford not to consider:
For the majority of us, our exposure to the police force and judicial system comes strictly through popular culture. We’re accustomed to seeing fugitives taken down and read their rights on TV shows like COPS, and we think that because we’ve seen a handful of episodes of Law and Order we understand what goes on in a courtroom.
But the reality is that being arrested in real life is nothing like the dramatizations we see on television, and from the time the handcuffs go on until you make bail, your choices can have very real, lasting consequences.
This article is for those of you who have ever asked yourselves, “Would I know what to do if I got arrested?” Read it, commit the information to memory, and know what to do and say to ensure that you get your day in court.
What To Do Next After Being Arrested
The following tips are compiled from numerous sources including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). They will help you avoid an escalating conflict with the police and prevent self-incrimination. Memorize them so you know exactly how to proceed in the event that you are arrested.
1. Remain calm. Keep in mind that your arresting officer is armed with one or more lethal weapons, and he or she has a license to shoot to kill. If you become aggressive or violent while being placed under arrest, you may be putting yourself in danger.
2. Do not attempt to flee. If you give chase, the police will follow. Additionally, keep your hands where they can be seen at all times. Putting your hands in your pockets or making sudden movements may be interpreted as signs of aggression and imperil your safety.
3. Don’t resist arrest. You may feel that you’re being apprehended unfairly; however, don’t try to resist when you’re being cuffed. Resisting may cause the situation to escalate and result in you being physically harmed. If you feel that you’ve been mistreated by the arresting officer, you have the option of filing a written complaint later.
4. Don’t incriminate yourself. The only information you should give the police are answers to “pedigree questions”: the questions they need to process you. This includes your name, address, date of birth, and social security number. Anything else you say can legally be held against you during trial. You have the right to request a lawyer before sharing any additional information with the police. Read up on your Miranda Rights to know what you are entitled to.
By now you can accurately answer the question “Would I know how to protect myself if I got arrested?” Should you find yourself in the position of being placed under arrest, you’ll know how to keep yourself safe.