An arrest can take anyone by surprise. The effects of this startling experience may stay with you for a long time. But, for now, you must think in the moment. This development just happened, and you must be quick on your feet in order to legally protect yourself.
Your initial reaction may be to not cooperate. To an extent, you do not have to. However, do not be tempted to do foolish things that may exacerbate the situation. You do not need any more trouble than you have now. But you also must understand that there are some steps you need to take.
Remain calm, invoke right to remain silent
Here are three things you should do after you have been arrested:
- Remain as calm and composed as you can. This is definitely a crisis situation. But maintaining a cool head is necessary immediately after an arrest. Although you may be angry and feel falsely accused, forgo any temptation to resist arrest and assault a law enforcement officer. If you pursue the latter, you will face additional criminal charges.
- Obtain all information related to the arresting officers. You must protect yourself in every way possible. Make sure to record the officers’ names, badge numbers along with the agency for which they work. Also record all other relevant details. Perhaps they assaulted you during the arrest or failed to read the Miranda warning. This information is critical especially if you plan to file a complaint.
- Maintain your right to remain silent and secure an attorney under the Miranda warning. You do not have to answer any questions asked by law enforcement. Remember that anything you say to them may be used later in court. Such rights protect you from self-incrimination as well as declare your right to hire an attorney. By expressing your right to retain an attorney, you will fend off law enforcement for the time being. They will know that they cannot talk to you after invoking your right to hire an attorney.
Protecting yourself remains the priority after an arrest. You do not have to talk with the arresting officers. But you do not want to add further aggravation to your situation by doing something foolish. Maintain your composure as best as you can and make sure to retain a skilled legal advocate.