Courtesy of William Bronchick, Esq. & Bronchick Law
If ever you find yourself in a situation where a law officer takes you into custody then you must realize that you have been arrested. It is important for every citizen to know what it means to be arrested and what their rights are.
If you are arrested, the officer concerned will take you to a police station, jail, or any other detention facility. Then you will be permitted to contact your attorney. They will in accordance with the law be obliged to tell you why you have been arrested.
Always ensure that your attorney is present when they photograph, you or take fingerprints of you and if you are going to be produced before a magistrate for the official filing of charges. Be aware that you may be asked to participate in a lineup, asked to give a sample of your handwriting, or provide samples of hair, blood, or urine.
If questioned you have a legal right to remain silent as anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. It is important for you to consult with your attorney before answering any questions and if you cannot afford an attorney the court will provide you with one.
When you are taken into custody the police will take your money and possessions like a watch, bracelet, or chain from you for safekeeping. You will receive a copy of the inventory and all things will be returned on your release.
Depending on the reason for arrest you may or may not be released on bail. Release on bail means your depositing cash or bail bond in court as a security against your release along with an assurance that you will appear in court when summoned. If you have a good standing in the community then the magistrate may reduce the bail or even waive it.
The thing to do is to stay calm, do not panic, and be polite and respectful towards the police officers and magistrates. Answer questions to the point. Try and remember what the arresting officers looked like, their badge numbers, license plate details and so on. Write things down as soon as you get a moment. You will benefit if there are bystanders watching. Encourage people to be present. Never act defiant or threaten about filing complaints.
Never issue statements in the belief that if you cooperate they will let you go. Always ensure that you think before you speak and that too in the presence of your attorney. In case you are arrested in a foreign country ask to contact your consulate or embassy immediately. Never sign any forms or documents until they are vetted by a competent attorney.
Never resist arrest even if you are innocent. Immediately provide your name, address, telephone number, immediate family contact details and the name of your employer. These will be essential to get bail.
Keep your wits about you and things should go well.