Being arrested is a scary and stressful experience that can quickly escalate if you do or say the wrong thing.
Believe it or not, even the most law-abiding citizens can find themselves under arrest.
It’s possible to commit a crime unknowingly; such as trespassing when taking a shortcut you’re not familiar with. Or, you could even be falsely arrested.
Therefore, it doesn’t do any harm to prepare yourself so you know what to do/say during an arrest to best protect yourself from worsening your situation.
If you ever find yourself being arrested and you hear your Miranda Rights being read to you, it’s important you do the following:
What To Do/Say During an Arrest
Never Resist Arrest
No matter how just you think your arrest is, you should never resist. If you attempt to resist arrest, you’re just going to end up with more charges.
Think of it like this: there is no chance of you fighting or talking your way out of being arrested. So don’t try.
Plus, if the officer feels threatened by your actions, he or she may possibly increase the use of force. You could easily end up with some serious injuries by resisting.
No matter how much you disagree with your arrest, it’s not the time or place to dispute it. You’ll have your time at the police station or in front of a judge to dispute your arrest.
To clarify what resisting arrest means under Georgia law, resisting arrest is known as obstructing a police officer.
In the Georiga code, C.G.A. §16-10-24, depending on your actions, obstructing a police officer can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony.
A misdemeanor is defined as:
A person who knowingly and willfully obstructs or hinders any law enforcement officer in the lawful discharge of his official duties is guilty of a misdemeanor.
If charged with a misdemeanor, you face fines of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail. In addition, there may also be some court-appointed punishments. Such as attending anger management classes, or carrying out community service.
A felony is defined as:
Whoever knowingly and willfully resists, obstructs, or opposes any law enforcement officer, prison guard, correctional officer, probation supervisor, parole supervisor, or conservation ranger in the lawful discharge of his official duties by offering or doing violence to the person of such officer or legally authorized person is guilty of a felony.
Felonies are serious charges. You will face some hefty fines, between 1 and 5 years in jail, and additional punishments as deemed suitable by the court.
As you can see from the above punishments, regardless of whether you think your arrest is just, it’s never worth attempting to resist.
Don’t Say Anything Without a Lawyer Present
Whenever someone is arrested, they’re read their Miranda Rights. Even if you’ve never been arrested before, almost everyone is familiar with what Miranda Rights are from watching movies.
You’ll hear something very similar to this:
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?
The key sentence that you need to act on within the Miranda Rights is, “You have the right to remain silent.”
It’s crucial to the outcome of your case that you invoke your right to remain silent. There a chance you will say something that can be used against you.
Keep in mind, too, that police officers don’t want you to stay quiet and retain a lawyer. They want evidence to build a case against you to justify arresting you.
In addition to this, they’re trained to get people to talk. So they may try and engage you in casual conversation. Resist talking about anything, even if you know you have nothing to hide.
Call a Lawyer ASAP
Being arrested can be a scary and daunting experience. It’s easy to feel like you’re alone or you’re in too deep, and it’s hard to know what to do/say during an arrest. However, you don’t have to feel this way, and you don’t have to face the legal system alone.
Another sentence in the Miranda Rights states, “You have the right to an attorney.” This is a basic right everyone has, regardless of the charge. It’s important you’re aware that you can call a lawyer to help you through this experience.
You’re not expected to understand what to do when you’re arrested. Neither are you expected to understand how to navigate the often complicated legal system.
Lawyers spend at least 7 years training to be able to represent people in your position. You should always call a lawyer if you’re arrested and give credence to their advice.
It’s their job to help you fight the charges brought against you. It may be possible to get your charges thrown out, or at the very least, have the best possible outcome if you have a lawyer representing you.
We’re Here To Help
Michael LaScala is a former prosecutor who has successfully represented numerous clients facing a wide range of criminal charges. Michael has the advantage of having litigated cases on both sides of the law, and is one of the leading criminal defense lawyers in Georgia.
By hiring Michael LaScala, you can be sure that whatever charges you’re facing, you are in safe hands and he will fight to secure the best possible outcome in your case.
Now that you’re aware of what to do/say during an arrest, the next step is to contact the LaScala Firm at (404) 881-8866 or by submitting a contact form. We’ll get right back to you to arrange a time to discuss your case.