A large number of people will be contacted, detained and/ or arrested in their lifetime. Hopefully you will not be one of them, but in the event you encounter is unfortunate experience, here is a list of the top five things you need to remember to protect yourself and get through it as smoothly as possible.
1. Remain as calm as possible. It is normal for a lot of people to have a high-stress reaction from the minute they are approached by law enforcement. Although you may have done nothing wrong, many people have become wired (through the media with its TV shows like “COPS”, music and literature) to fear law enforcement and to have an adrenaline spiked reaction when interacting with an officer of the law. This ends up making things worse because if a person has a less-than -normal physical state by seeming agitated, nervous, sweaty, or frightened it could make them seem more suspicious to a police officer.
2. Remember Your Rights. One of the worst mistakes you can make is to say anything. You have the right to have a lawyer present before answering questions, and you have the right to remain silent until then. Once you invoke this right, the authorities must back away. Try to remember the details of your encounter in case they are disputed later.
3. Contact a Lawyer. As soon as you can, call a reputable lawyer to come to your defense.
4. If Arrested, Get Your Affairs in Order. Most importantly, have someone close to you, arrange your bail, if needed. Call your family and let them know, inform your work you will not be coming in and arrange for someone to take care of your pets.
5. Remain Respectful. Do not interfere with what law enforcement is doing and try to be polite and respectful. Showing signs of respect by using titles like “Sir” or “Officer” will not get you any special treatment but, even though you chose not to speak to them about the facts of your suspected crime, it will make your time in custody go more smoothly with the attending custodial officers.
Article Courtesy of Molly Hamilton.