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Protecting Yourself During an Arrest: What to Do and What Not to Do When You are Arrested

Posted on in Criminal Defense

what to do when you are arrested, Chicago criminal defense lawyersThe moments that lead up to an arrest can be disorienting; the sequence of events often blurs together, spawning a state of shock and confusion as you process the fact that you will possibly face criminal charges for your actions. Even if you sense the arrest coming, the moment law enforcement begins to read your rights and take you into custody, reality begins to surface and you can quickly succumb to panic mode if you do not know how to handle the situation. This is especially the case when you believe you have been wrongly accused. 

Due to the stressful nature of an arrest, many individuals who are confronted with the possibility of criminal charges tend to freeze up the minute they are accused of a crime. Some act out in anger, out of fear, or from sheer disbelief that they are being taken into custody. During those moments when emotions run high, irrational and aggressive behavior can take over, which can easily make the situation worse and hurt your overall case in a court of law.

What to Avoid the Moment You are Placed Under Arrest

Resisting the arrest - Resisting the arrest, even if you are indeed innocent, puts you at risk for facing a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in one year of prison time plus a hefty fine. You have every right to bring an action against the law enforcement officer arresting you if the arrest is illegal. You cannot be prosecuted for resisting, but it is important to tread carefully when confronted with an arrest of any kind, as you can be charged with assault or battery. Your actions and behavior in those crucial moments carry a lot of power when it comes to your representation in a court of law. 

Resisting the search - When an officer attempts to “frisk” or search you at the scene of the arrest, refrain from resisting the search. Law enforcement officers hold a legal right to search you and the area surrounding you, although they may only search you for weapons if they reasonably suspect they are in danger of being attacked. They also have the right to demand your name and address at the scene of the crime or in a public place where they believe a crime has been, or is about to be committed.

Arguing with the arrested officer - If you are wrongly accused, it is understandable to want to defend yourself. However, asserting yourself in a way that displays signs of aggression or taking a stance that is argumentative in nature can potentially add fuel to the fire. You do not want to contribute to any unfavorable accusations placed against you. Instead, you will benefit from properly exercising your rights as a citizen, including consulting with an attorney of your choosing.

The moment you are accused of a crime, it is crucial to speak with a knowledgeable Chicago criminal defense attorney to make sure your rights remain intact and that you are given a proper trial. If you are facing criminal charges, call the Luisi Legal Group today at 773-276-5541 for a free initial consultation.

Sources: 

https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/publications/pamphlets/Arrested.pdf

http://www.icjia.state.il.us/assets/pdf/ResearchReports/Policies_and_Procedures_of_the_Illinois_Criminal_Justice_System_Aug2012.pdf

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