Under Arrest? 9 Do’s and Don’ts!

by Criminal Defence Blawg on June 25, 2012

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Being arrested means being taken into custody by the police and being legally detained. You may be guilty, but then again you may not. Whichever the case, knowing what you should or should not do in case you find yourself on the wrong side of the bars is essential if you are to have any chance of having a fair trial.

Do ask for identification

Before arresting you, a police officer should identify him or herself. Only in very exceptional circumstances would a private individual have the liberty to arrest you. The reason for asking for identification is so that you are sure that you are actually being arrested and not kidnapped.


Do ask for the reason for arrest

You are entitled to know why the police are arresting you, so ensure you gather that information from them early enough.

Do ask for a warrant

Unless the police have caught you in the act of committing a crime, they are required to have a warrant for your arrest before they can take you in. You should ask to see a warrant and check to see whether a judge has signed it. If the police do not have the warrant in their custody then they should show it to you as soon as they gain access to it, preferably at the police station.

If you were arrested outside your premises then it would be necessary for the police to produce a search warrant before searching it but they can search your house if you were arrested inside.

Do keep in mind the circumstances of the arrest

Police officers are guided by a strict code of ethics and they are expected to abide by it. Keep in mind the circumstances of the arrest and whether you were manhandled in any way. 

Do keep calm

An arrest can be very scary but do not give in to fear. Keep calm during the whole process to make it easier for everyone.

Do not resist arrest

Running away can act as corroboration to other evidence with the effect that it casts doubt concerning your innocence. As much as you may see it happening in the movies, resist that urge to run. Further, do not get violent in any way. Assaulting a police officer is a serious offence and if you resist arrest, you will certainly be charged with the same. Whether you are innocent or not, resisting arrest is a crime.  Keep in mind also that the police have a right to use force in effecting arrest if you resist. Do not let it come to that.

Do keep quiet

The Miranda law provides that an arrested person has the right to remain silent. It is true that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. Other than your name and personal address, do not divulge any more information.

Do not lie!

If you absolutely have to say anything, then let it be the truth. Lying to a police officer in their course of carrying out an investigation can get you charged with obstruction of justice.

Do contact your attorney

You are entitled to speak with your attorney and you ought to do so as soon as you get the opportunity to. They will give you the right legal advice and tell you how to handle the situation. If you cannot afford an attorney then one should be appointed for you by the state. Whatever happens, make sure you get expert legal representation.

In case you didn’t know…

  1. It is mandatory that the police grant you your rights as an arrested person. Failure to do this can land a fatal blow to their case against you. Even a fully signed confession can be thrown out if it was obtained in a procedurally incorrect manner. Make sure you alert your attorney on any procedural improprieties you may have observed.
  2. The police may call your house asking you to reveal some information and may even ask you to come by the station to record a statement with them. Though this may seem like a good idea to you and you do it in good faith, the written statement you make with them can be taken as a form of implication of guilt. The bottom line is when it comes to dealing with the police, always be on the safe side and consult with your attorney before taking any step.

Adam Stew writes blogs on legal issues and has practiced law for 20 years. His blogs attempt to simplify legal concepts by providing latest case law and articles on various important topics. You can also get information on Bicycle Accident Lawyer for bicycle related cases.

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal Defence Blawg

Criminal law blogger at CriminalDefenceBlawg
Criminal Defence Blawg is a criminal law blog, sharing legal expertise and intelligence from the UK, US, Australia and beyond. Contributions from those who share great legal information. Want to get published? Contact us today.
Criminal Defence Blawg
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