Knowing Your Rights and What to do If You Are Being Arrested
This article focuses on knowing your rights and what you should do if you are being placed under arrest by a police officer. We will discuss 10 basic rules to follow when you are being arrested:
- Don’t get angry
- Remain Silent
- Don’t agree to a search
- Ask to Contact Your Attorney
- Find Out Your Charges
- Call An Attorney
- Turn Off Your Cellphone
- Be Patient
- Get Out of Jail
- Fight Your Case In Court
1. Don’t Get Angry
Stay Calm and do not resist. Resisting arrest is another charge. The angrier you are, the more you will lose both with the police and in court.
2. Remain Silent
You probably won’t be able to talk your way out of jail. In fact, most people end up talking themselves into trouble. You do have the right to remain silent. Exercise it by politely telling the police “no thank you, I would rather not talk”.
3. Don’t Agree to a Search
As always, never EVER agree to a search. Say it out loud clearly multiple times if needed. “I do not agree to a search”. Later this can be used to help fight your case. If you agree to the search, you just in effect lost any leverage in fighting the case.
4. Tell Police You Need to Contact Your Attorney
You have a 6th amendment right not to be questioned without the presence of a lawyer. At the time you are in the police car or enter the police station, or when they ask to question you, this is when you tell them you would like to call an attorney and have him or her present and that you need to retrieve the number from your phone. The police are required to comply and allow you to make a call.
5. Find Out Your Charges
When the police book you, you will have time to ask them what your charges are. They should tell you. Try to find out what the bail amount is as well.
6. Call an Attorney
You will have a chance to make at least one phone call from jail. Usually more than one. At this time, use your cell phone to look up and call your attorney, or call someone close that can contact an attorney for you. Your freedom may depend on this crucial step. Call the right person.
7. Turn Off Your Cellphone
After retrieving all of the numbers you need and making your phone call(s), turn your cell phone off. Leaving it on will likely result in it being dead when you get out of jail and you will definitely need it then.
8. Have Some Patience
Nothing is fast when it comes to getting out of jail. Depending on how busy they are, it could be as fast as 30 minutes or as slow as 12 hours. In the case of several hours, your patience will be tested so be prepared.
9. Get Out of Jail
You will be put in a holding cell and if you made the right call to the right person, they may already be going through the process of getting you out either with early intervention, a bondsman, or scheduling an emergency OR or bail reduction hearing. A good attorney will help you with this.
10. Fight Your Case In Court
Having a great criminal defense attorney, and NOT BEING IN JAIL is the best way to fight your case. There simply is no substitute. If you follow these steps, and you have the money or obtain a loan you are on your way to beating the case or getting the best result in your criminal case.
If you have recently been arrested, please don’t hesitate to call us for a free, no-obligation consultation with Seppi Esfandi. During your call, Esfandi will hear the details of the case and advise you on the best approach to defend yourself. If you wish, a consultation in our office can be promptly scheduled.
Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529
Seppi Esfandi is an Expert in Criminal Law who has over 20 years of practice defending a variety of criminal cases.
First Part of the Knowing Your Rights Series:
For the first part, please visit the article: