When the police knock on your door or pull you over while you are driving, you may wonder what to do. Are you under arrest? Will this lead to jail time? What is going to happen? The steps you take during your interaction with the police can have a significant impact on the answers to these questions.
Follow the officers’ instructions.
A police stop is a stressful situation, but it is important to listen to the officer who has stopped you. As the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) notes, following officers’ commands is an important way to protect yourself after an arrest.
Remember that you have the right to remain silent.
The police can use anything that you say to them as evidence in court, even what you believe is a reasonable explanation for your actions. Thankfully, you have the right to stay silent when the police question you.
Do not consent to a search if the police do not have a warrant.
Officers generally need your consent to perform a search of your home or vehicle if they do not have a warrant. Just as remaining silent can keep officers from using your answers against you, refusing the police entry without a warrant can be a key way to
Speak with an attorney about your case.
Contacting an attorney can be one of the most important steps that you take after an arrest. Not only does contacting an attorney as soon as possible allow them more time to build your defense, they can also help ensure that the police did not violate your rights during the arrest.
While being arrested is stressful, taking precautions can protect your rights today and help you build a stronger defense.