The Rights You Need To Know When You Are Arrested

Getting arrested is not ideal — but there is definitely nothing wrong with being prepared for such a circumstance. That starts by understanding your rights and how to properly exercise them. Amendments VI, V, VI and VIII granting the guilty immunity.

Amendment VI entitles people to the right to unreasonable search and seizure. If an officer asks to check you, your property or your room, you have the right to decline politely. Police will only ask for your permission if they do not have the legal right to search without your consent, although police can pat your clothing. It also specifies that a warrant must be signed by a magistrate, and that it cannot be issued without justification. Also, the warrant must specify the place to be searched, the person to be searched or what to seize. The amendment imposes limitations to the power of police.

The Fifth Amendment ensures that no person charged with a capital crime can be tried without a Grand Jury indictment. In Amendment V, the right to silence is included. If you are placed under arrest, whatever the circumstances, if you are innocent or not, the most important thing is not to fight the officer who arrests you. Resisting arrest could cause harm to yourself. And always be sure to keep your hands visible. Until it is told to do so, do not approach the officer. The best thing you can do once you’ve been placed under arrest is exercise the right to remain silent, with few exceptions. Tell your name to the officer if you are asked to do so, and be honest— falsifying your name is illegal. You can ask if you can make a phone call. And you can (and should) ask to speak to a lawyer (and your parents if you’re a minor). If you can’t afford one, please let them know, and ask for one. If you are released and a court date is set, contact your attorney as soon as possible so that he or she can advise you on what to do next. As a means to get your release from custody, you have the right to apply for and post bail. If you do not wish to do so, you are not required to give testimony. If you don’t testify, neither the judge nor the jury will be able to view your silence as evidence of guilt. In the eyes of the law, you are innocent unless the evidence presented at Court by the prosecutor proves guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If you are not a U.S. citizen, the judge will warn you that a criminal conviction could lead to legal penalties, including immigration detention (custody) and expulsion (deportation) from the United States, before granting a guilty plea. If your rights are being violated, you can submit a written complaint to the internal affairs section of the department, or to the civil action commission. You can file a complaint anonymously in most cases, if you wish.

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