When you have been arrested, there are many things you should do. For example, you should remain silent and get an attorney who can advise you of your rights and help you with the complicated criminal legal system. There are also many things you shouldn't do. You should never talk to anyone about the incident except for your lawyer. You should also not actively resist being arrested. What you do or don't do when you've been arrested can have a significant effect on the outcome of your case.

I've Been Arrested, What Are Some of the Things I Should Do?

There are many things you can do once you have been arrested (link to arrest page) that will ensure that your rights are not violated. Some of the things you should do include:

  • Remain silent - you do not have to answer any questions the police ask you and anything you say can be used against you in court
  • Be polite and respectful towards the police officer(s)
  • Remain calm
  • Contact your attorney or ask for one and don't say anything until they are present
  • Try to remember the badge numbers of any officers you are involved with, as well as their patrol car number(s)
  • Make sure that your attorney is present for any questioning
  • Make sure that your attorney is present for any lineups or testing (such as drawing a blood sample)
  • Let your attorney deal with the police and any prosecutors, especially if they offer you some kind of deal
  • If you are injured, be sure to take photographs of the injuries as soon as possible and get medical attention
  • Try to find witnesses and get their contact information (name, phone number)

What Are the Things I Should Not Do if I Am Arrested?

If you are arrested, many things that you do can have negative effects on the outcome of your case. To ensure that your rights are protected:

  • Do not say anything about the incident to the police.
  • Do not mouth off to the police or do anything to upset them.
  • Do not attempt to run from the police-you will likely be caught and it will not look good in court.
  • Do not say anything about the incident to anyone besides your lawyer (this includes cellmates if you are in jail).
  • Do not give the police permission to search anything.
  • Do not resist arrest , even if you are innocent, resisting arrest can lead to increased charges. In particular, do not touch the officers in any way.
  • Do not believe the things the police tell you in order to get you to talk -the police are allowed to lie to you and often times will tell you it will be easier on you if you just tell the truth. It will only make it easier for the police to prove their case.
  • If the police come to your home, do not let them in unless they have a warrant and do not go outside. It may be that they need an arrest warrant to arrest you in your home and if you go outside, you may be arrested without a warrant.
  • If the police arrest you outside your home, do not allow any officer to go into your home to get clothes, talk to your wife, etc. If you accept, the police will escort you into your home and begin to search it without a warrant. The same applies to your car.

I've Been Arrested, Do I Need a Lawyer?

Yes. A qualified criminal defense lawyer can inform you of your rights and defenses and represent you in court. The above lists are suggestions of things you should do or not do in order to ensure that your rights are protected. An experienced criminal lawyer can help protect your rights as well.