When you are placed under arrest, it’s normal to feel a wide range of emotions. However, it is always advisable to prevent your emotions from getting the better of you, and below, we’ve provided a few etiquette tips that are beneficial for people who are getting arrested.
In most cases, the police officer will read a Miranda warning to you as you are being arrested. As part of a preventive criminal procedure, the purpose of reading this statement to you is to protect you from inadvertently violating your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The Miranda warning will seem like a lot of information when your adrenaline is pumping, but the key takeaways from the statement are that:
- You have a right to remain silent. This means you may refuse to answer questions the police ask you.
- Anything that you say may be used against you. This means if you choose not to remain silent, your statements may be used as evidence in trial.
- You have the right to counsel. This means that you are entitled to speak with a defense lawyer if you choose to do so, and to have him or her present during questioning.
Many detainees feel the need to plead their innocence as the cuffs are going on, however, saying anything to the officers increases your odds of saying something that could prove detrimental to you in the end. Additionally, remember that police only need probably cause to arrest you, and while being arrested is not enjoyable, it is not an indication of your guilt.
Due to the recent strained relationship between law enforcement and the public, both police officers and arrestees have a heightened sense of alertness when interacting with each other. Because of this, it is essential that you comply with the officers requests when you are being arrested. In order to have the process go as smoothly as possible and with little chance of altercation, it is best to interact respectfully with law enforcement and provide the basic information that is needed to process you. Additionally, you should never resist arrest. In the state of New York, intentionally preventing or attempting to prevent a policeman from completing an authorized arrest is a Class A misdemeanor, meaning you could spend up to one year in jail if convicted of the offense.