What to do if you get arrested by the police
Getting arrested by the police is one of the most stressful and nerve-racking experiences someone can go through, especially if it’s their first time dealing with any legal scrutiny. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by what’s going on and there is a huge level of uncertainty that comes with it.
A formal arrest means that you have to leave with the police back to the police station. It’s understandable that you might feel scared or threatened by what’s going on, but the most important advice is to stay calm and cooperate.
Let’s take a look at what you should do if you get arrested.
Don’t argue, resist or attempt to flee
This should be obvious, but not enough people follow this simple advice. It’s a common sight on Friday evenings to see drunken people attempt to negotiate their way out of trouble with police or attempt to make a legal argument as a non-expert.
If you get arrested by police, especially for a trivial offence like public intoxication or vandalism, there’s nothing to be gained by arguing with them. The police are there to do a job and have dealt with plenty of others just like you; they are not impressed by your legal rhetoric professing your innocence.
If you are knowledgeable about the law and perceive the police to be doing something wrong, do not attempt to resist or flee as this will only make it worse for you.
Don’t say anything more than absolutely necessary
The “right to remain silent” is a popularised right that you as a citizen have, but only to an extent. There are questions such as your name, address and occupation that you must tell police when they ask you.
However any questions relating to the details of the accusation against you should not be asked by police and you have the right to refuse to answer them. Some police may try to intimidate you into revealing something incriminating, making their job easier but your life harder.
Do not let yourself be coerced by police into talking to them. Ask for your lawyer and do not reveal anything to anyone other than them.
The police should only conduct formal questioning after you have conferenced with your lawyer and they are present to supervise how the police conduct their questioning. In situations like this it is ideal to have an experienced criminal lawyer on your side.