Even if authorities suspect you committed a crime, you still have rights. You deserve to receive fair, responsible and objective treatment.
Knowing how to respond in the often-tense moments during an arrest can help you protect yourself. If you experience illegal or brutal behavior, you have the right to take legal action against the perpetrator.
Even though you may want to defend yourself or explain the situation, the best thing you can do during an arrest is remain calm and in control of your emotions. Keep your hands where responding authorities can see them. Avoid quick or unexpected movement. Do not resist or try to run away. Your willingness to comply may help to keep the peace and reduce your risks of injuries resulting from the force.
Contrary to what you may have heard, you can request an attorney before signing any paperwork or agreeing to any terms without receiving legal guidance first. You can also make a local phone call even during an arrest.
Even though you may experience feelings of shock, confusion and anger during an arrest, it is important that you stay observant of your surroundings. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, 1,004 people suffered fatal injuries in shootings with law enforcement in the United States during the year 2019. You never know when you could suffer life-changing or fatal injuries at the hands of authority acting irrationally or illegally.
During your arrest, take mindful notes of the names, badge numbers and demeanor of responding authorities. Do not hesitate to ask for identification. These details can make a substantial difference if you end up taking legal action against authorities that treated you unfairly. Even during an arrest, you should never have to fear for your safety and well-being.