What To Do When You Are Arrested

Remain Silent

You cannot be arrested for refusing to talk to the police. If they are going to arrest you, they’re going to do it no matter what you tell them. So play it safe and wait for an attorney before you say anything. Police have arrest powers and weapons at their disposal. What they don’t have — and what they cannot take from you — are your own words and your right against self-incrimination.


Yes, they are out to get you

The police are not required to be truthful to an arrestee. They have an agenda, and at the top of the agenda is putting you behind bars. They will say and do anything, threaten all manner of things they cannot legally carry out, just to get you to provide evidence against yourself. No matter how clever or glib you think you are, they not likely to release you if they think they can nail you in court, and whatever you give them they can bend and twist to their benefit. Do not give them more ammunition than they already have.


If you must speak with the police, have a lawyer present

There may be times when it’s advisable to talk to the police, but don’t make this determination yourself. Ask to speak to a lawyer, who can then schedule a time to be present during the interrogation.


Don’t let the police into your house without a search warrant

If they show up at your doorstep to conduct a search, you are perfectly within your rights to ask to see a search warrant. If they are there to arrest you, step outside to be arrested. Do not give them a reason to come in.


Don’t let the police into your house without a search warrant

If they don’t have a warrant in either case, politely ask them to leave and come back with one. Then call your attorney.


Anything you don’t consent to — short of arrest — is a violation of your rights.

The police can legally detain or arrest you; however, you can only be compelled to testify in court. No matter how casual your encounter with the police may seem, you are under intense scrutiny when they question you. They are looking for anything they can use against you.


Be especially careful when driving.

You have fewer rights on the road than at home, but the police need a reason to pull you over. Don’t give them one. Keep that license and registration current, fix that broken tail-light, pay attention to your driving speed, don’t attract attention by weaving in and out, and use your turn signals when turning or changing lanes. Come to a complete stop at stop signs and red lights. If you are pulled over, always be polite, but say as little as possible.


The police need your consent to search your car without a warrant.

You can be arrested for any number of reasons, but not for refusing to consent to an unwarranted search of your car. Clearly tell them that you do not consent to the search, or they will interpret your silence as implied consent. They may have probable cause to search, but this can be challenged in court. If they have your consent to search, implied or otherwise, there is nothing to challenge.