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Things You Should and Shouldn’t Do During an Arrest

If you are arrested, showing cooperation and staying selectively silent will be to your advantage. Here are three things you should do if you are arrested.

Be Cooperative

If you are being arrested, the worst thing you can do is be hostile, or speak aggressively to the arresting officers. It may be a head-spinning experience, but you should try to listen to everything they are saying, and answer any personal questions asked of you.

There is value in staying selectively silent, however. Legally, the only things you are obligated to tell a police officer are your name and what you’re doing at that moment. For example, if you’ve been arrested for alleged suspicious activity, anything you say to a police officer could be misinterpreted and later used against you in criminal proceedings.

If you are arrested, let the police read you your rights and then ask to speak to your lawyer. You should never talk to police during an arrest or an interrogation without making a point of asking for legal representation.

Be Still

If you’re being arrested, your fight or flight response may rear its head. Resist the urge to try and leave the situation, and be as calm as possible. If you are treated maliciously, inform the officers they are hurting you, but don’t be aggressive in any manner. Police officers are generally decent during arrests, but they will also protect themselves with force if necessary.

The best thing you can do is be as relaxed as possible in the situation.

Don’t Profess your Guilt

This one might seem obvious, but if you’ve been arrested, don’t automatically profess your guilt (even if you are guilty of something). You may not know the full extent of the police’s investigation, and may find yourself confessing to extra or more serious crimes you didn’t actually commit without even realizing it. Even if you have been involved in some illegal activity, you don’t want to simply hand over a confession without understanding the full extent of the case being brought before you.

Any extraneous information (other than your name, and personal information) you provide to police may be dangerous, and lead to false convictions. You might make some mistakes when explaining your involvement or actions that the police interpret as lies or the officer you speak with may misremember what you say later. Whatever the case, if you’re under arrest, make sure you ask for a lawyer and continue asking until one is made available to you.