This guide will cover the basics of what to do after you have been arrested.
"Expect the best but prepare for the worst," as they say, and there's not too much worse than getting arrested.
Whether or not you've actually committed a crime or there's just been a terrible mistake will all shake out later. But during the arrest itself, you can save yourself a ton of grief down the road.
If you're ever put under arrest in Utah, here are 5 steps you should take to ensure it goes smoothly:
1. Don't Run Due to Panic
If you're being placed under arrest, no one can blame you for feeling a bit of panic. It's a scary thing to happen. That said, you could not make a worse choice than attempting to flee from the police who've come to arrest you.
First, they're guaranteed to catch you -- you're not Usain Bolt. Second, they'll stick you with a whole bunch of other charges like resisting arrest. And finally, don't you think running would look just a little bit guilty?
Stay put when you're under arrest. The situation will only get worse otherwise.
2. Remain Calm and Comply With Orders
This can't be overstated. If you're under arrest, remaining calm and complying with the orders of the police is essential. Even if you've done nothing wrong, protesting loudly isn't going to convince anyone.
Down the road, your legal experience stands to be a lot more manageable if you were able to keep a level head and act respectfully during the arresting process.
3. Don't Talk to the Cops
Aside from the information your obliged to provide (like your name), there is absolutely no reason to talk to the police without a criminal lawyer present. If you've ever seen a TV or movie arrest, then you've heard the line, "You have the right to remain silent."
Well it's true! Anything you say will be picked apart to build a case against you later. By saying nothing during the arrest, you can participate in due process further into the investigation.
4. Don't Consent to Any Searches
If you're under arrest, the cops can search both you and your immediate vicinity. But there's a few things they can't search, and those are the places they'll ask you about.
If a police officer is requesting your permission to search something, it means they don't have authorization to do so without your consent. Never, ever give permission for a search. If the cops can do it without, so be it. But you have some authority over things like your phone, and you should exercise it when possible.
5. Speak to a Defense Attorney ASAP
Following your arrest, the police will try to speak with you. They may seem friendly and like they want to help to encourage you to speak with them in private.
Whatever you do, don't say a word unless your defense lawyer is present. If you don't have one, get one as soon as you are able so they can begin advocating on your behalf.
No one wants to be arrested. But if it happens, there are steps you can take to make the experience as grief-free as possible.
By staying put, complying with orders, keeping your mouth shut, not permitting search where able, and contacting a defense lawyer as soon as you can, you'll mitigate much of the negativity surrounding an arrest.
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