While there are some suspects in criminal cases who know an arrest is pending and are able to turn themselves in to police with the assistance and advice of their lawyers, for many, an arrest is an unexpected event. It helps to be aware of your rights and to know how to best handle the situation.
There are many, many ways to handle an arrest . . . but most of these ways are wrong.
You could try fleeing the police, but that will only lead to additional charges of eluding and any charges which may result from an accident if you flee in a vehicle.
You could become combative and try to to fight the arrest, but that will land you with extra charges for assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.
You could go the opposite route from fighting arrest, and instead answer every question police ask you, perhaps even confessing and apologizing for the alleged crime. But that only gives police the words that "can and will be used against you" in court.
Or you could be like this guy, whose seems to think his arrest is a Shakespearean production:
"Get your hand off my penis!" This is probably the best video of someone getting arrested...Posted by UNILAD on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
While his arrest is probably not what you should do if you are arrested, we must admit it is one of our favorites.
So you shouldn't run, you shouldn't fight, and you shouldn't talk to police. What should you do if you are arrested?
First and foremost, you should know your rights. If police question you or ask you to go to the station for questioning, you do not have to go unless you are under arrest. If police are asking you questions, it may feel like you are under arrest, but in many cases you are free to go. How do you know the difference? You can ask police if you are under arrest or free to go. If you are not under arrest, then excuse yourself and call a lawyer.
You should also be aware that your right to remain silent begins before you are read the Miranda warning. Police do not have to issue this warning about your rights until you are placed under arrest, but at no time do you have to answer police questions--nor should you--without legal counsel. You should provide police with your identification if requested, but you do not have to answer any questions without the advice of your attorney.
If you are detained or placed under arrest, law enforcement may ask for your consent to search your person or property. Do NOT give this consent. In some cases, police can search without a warrant; however, if you have given your consent to a search, you eliminate the possibility of arguing illegal search and seizure in court. Even if police have a warrant, do not give consent. With a warrant, they have the right to search, and you should not interfere with the legal process, but do not say that you consent to the search.
And finally, you should insist upon your right to have a lawyer present. Once you request a lawyer, police should not question you unless he or she is present. Your lawyer can help make sure your rights are protected during the investigation. He or she can help negotiate a lower bond to get you out of jail. And perhaps most importantly, your lawyer can provide the legal counsel that helps you make the best decisions about your case and helps you avoid making critical errors that could cause you to lose your defense.
If you find yourself in a situation where you are under arrest or arrest is looming, remain calm. Tell police politely, "I would like an attorney. I will not speak without my attorney present." Then call (405) 418-8888 for help.