Lara Bracamonte Davila

Doing What Is Right For You

How to act if you are arrested

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Criminal Law

Being stopped by the police is often a confusing and scary experience and being arrested is usually even worse.

Police need reasonable suspicion to stop you and probable cause to arrest you. This means they must have reason to believe that a crime was committed, is being committed or is going to be committed.

You may have heard of people “talking themselves into an arrest.” Police may have reasonable suspicion to stop you, but sometimes what you say or how you act during that stop can lead to an arrest.

Exercise your right to remain silent

Whatever the reason for your arrest, one of your most important rights is the right to remain silent. This is one of your Miranda rights, which should be read to you when you are arrested.

It is natural to want to talk to the police officers as much as you can, before and after an arrest, to explain your side of the story. People often believe that if they are friendly and tell their side, the police officers will let them go.

This is not true. Once police officers have decided to arrest you, nothing you say will make them change their decision. In fact, anything you say can be used against you.

Do not fight or resist the arrest

If you believe that your rights are violated or know that you are not guilty of the crime you are being arrested for, you should discuss that privately with an attorney after the arrest.

Act polite and respectful to the police officers and follow their instructions. You can act polite and respectful while still exercising your right to remain silent.

It helps to memorize the phone numbers of family or friends you would call in an emergency. You have a right to one local phone call but be aware that the police officers can listen to this call. It is best to tell the person you call that you have been arrested and save other details for private conversations with your attorney.