If you are in a confrontation with law enforcement, it can be tempting to explain your side of things. To give them details that will let them see things from your perspective.
Maybe then they will understand the situation. Unfortunately, many people find out later that confiding in law enforcement is almost always a bad idea.
Knowing your rights while under arrest
Every citizen has rights, even when under arrest. Remember to stay calm and assert your right to remain silent. You can:
- Politely state you wish to remain silent and request a lawyer.
- Refuse to consent to a search.
- Request a phone call when possible.
- Ask the reason for your arrest but do not resist.
It’s important to protect your rights but never resist an arrest. Comply with law enforcement and make sure to request a lawyer. Don’t sign or agree to anything until you have had legal representation look it over.
You don’t have to answer any questions posed by law enforcement without a lawyer present. Simply request a lawyer and then politely decline to answer further until your lawyer can arrive.
The potential risks
While it may seem harmless to explain your side of things to law enforcement, self-incrimination is a common mistake for those facing arrest. It may feel like law enforcement are on your side, but they have a job to do. They want to solve an issue and their interests may run counter to yours.
Arguing or disagreeing with law enforcement can create more issues or cause them to press different charges on you. By being respectful, you give yourself the best chance at resolving the situation. It can be difficult to stay calm during an arrest but do your best.
Getting through the situation
If you are detained by law enforcement, request to speak with a skilled attorney before you answer any questions. Without representation, you risk self-incrimination, even if you’ve done nothing wrong.