What to do if you get arrested (USA)
There may be many reasons you might end up finding yourself in police handcuffs, but what happens when you do? Criminal Behaviours teams up with The Omara Law Group to give you some valuable advice.
Most people at one time or another will have seen a video clip of an arrest gone wrong, or get out of hand and escalate rapidly. In some cases through no fault of the person being arrested, the thought of these situations can be worrying. So, how could the chances of something like this happening to you or a loved one be reduced? The main aim is to stay calm, speak don't shout, comply respectfully and be polite, the way you act in these situations is seen later on as a reflection of your character.
Key points to remember -
Keep your voice at speaking level
Do not name call or curse
Listen quietly when being spoken to
Don't interrupt the officer
So if you find yourself in this situation, don't panic! It can be scary knowing you are about to be booked into jail, you may feel very emotional and reactive, try to keep your composure as best you can. The more prepared you are, and the more you know what to expect, the better the process will go.
If you have a disability, or an illness (such as asthma) or a mental health related illness, make it your priority to let the arresting officer know exactly what your health issues are. Again do this in a calm manner, try to be clear and keep things respectful and easy to understand.
For family members who have a loved one in custody with mental health concerns you can support them while in custody by taking "the time to contact your family member’s treating psychologist or psychiatrist. They may be able to visit your family member at the facility and offer support and guidance and explain the condition and any needs to the police in greater detail." - Omara Law Group
Being arrested means you are going into the custody of the state, which means you have the right to remain silent. You do not have to speak to the police without a lawyer, and you can request for your lawyer, or if you do not have one you can request for a lawyer. The Omara Law Group explains that these rights are commonly referred to as Miranda Rights and they include -
The right to remain silent because anything said can be used against you
The right to consult with and be represented by an attorney before being asked any questions
The right to have an attorney appointed by the state if you can’t afford it
The right to stop answering questions at any time
You also have the right to know the names and badge numbers of the police you or your loved one has interacted with. You have the right to know what you are being charged with and what crimes you are being accused of, your family also has the right to know this.
Criminal Lawyer Mark O' Mara of the Omara Law Group gives some great tips on what to do in this situation, he gives some valuable advice in a video which can be found here. Marks main tips are,
"Make it as painless as possible, don't say anything disrespectful even if you think they deserve it... the best thing you can do is stay quiet and get through the process as quickly as possible. That's going to include getting into jail and getting booked in ... get hold of family and friends and get a bond posted" - Mark O'Hara, criminal defence lawyer
As Mark explains when you get booked in you may have to wait until the next day to be seen by a judge, if this happens remain composed and follow the same advice as above. One of your priorities should be getting your money taken care of as soon as you are granted bond (if applicable). Once you are out contact a lawyer and then allow them to handle the next stages of your case.
The Omaha law group give some fantastic advice and have designed a clear and easy to follow page which breaks down what to do if you or a loved one get arrested. In this guide they also include information and advice for those who might have disabilities or mental health issues.
Timothy Fields of the Omara Law Group says "Having a friend or family member arrested is something nobody wants to deal with, but the reality is that it can happen to any of us. When a loved one is arrested, it is obviously a very stressful time and there are things that the person should know to make sure the person is exercising all of their rights, especially if they have a disability or illness. That's why the O'Mara Law Group made a comprehensive guide on What to Know If A Family Member or Friend is Arrested."
They cover key areas which include: -
Steps after family or friend is arrested.
What to do if your loved one has mental health issues, physical illnesses or disabilities.
What if they need medication?
What to do if a minor is arrested.
What to do if a loved one is being mistreated in jail.
Know your rights, know their rights.
A short guide to working with attorneys.
Its definitely worth checking out their advice, even if you never need to use it. Knowing what to do in stressful situations can be vital in minimising the negative outcome of them.