What To Do If You Get Arrested

In the event that you are arrested, for whatever reason, the most important thing is to be aware of your rights. Commonly called the Miranda Rights or Warnings–in deference to Miranda v. Arizona–these rights will be read to you by your arresting officer while you are in custody. These rights are inalienable and cannot be taken away for any reason.

You have the right to remain silent. If an officer asks you a question, you do not have to answer. Any statement that is coerced or made under duress or threat of force by police is inadmissible. If you do decide to respond, anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. This is called waiving of your Miranda rights. After waiving your rights, anything you say can be used by police to aid in their investigation.

You are also entitled to an attorney. If you request an attorney, no statements made before the attorney’s arrival are admissible. You are allowed to choose your own attorney, but if you cannot afford to pay for one, one will be appointed for you.

Getting arrested can be troubling, but it is important to know that everyone is equal in the eyes of the law, and, if any mistreatment does occur, you should inform your attorney immediately.