Getting arrested can be a traumatic experience. That’s especially the case if authorities don’t have probable cause. As with most scenarios involving police officers, de-escalation is not the responsibility of private citizens; however, they don’t always know the tendencies of the officers involved.
Preparing for potential detainment
While not always possible, people should try to prepare themselves and their families for a potential arrest. They can do so by carrying phone numbers of close family members and an attorney. People may also want to have an emergency plan if they have children at home or medications.
Even if there’s no probable cause for the arrest, it’s crucial to follow the officers’ orders carefully. That’s because resisting arrest is often illegal and easier to do so than one might think.
Rights people have when facing arrest
Whether a person’s arrest was unlawful or not, these are some of the legal rights people are entitled to when getting detained:
- The right to remain silent: While getting detained, people have the right to remain silent and request legal representation. Those under arrest should not say anything, sign anything or make any decisions without an attorney on their side.
- The right to make a phone call: Once someone gets taken to jail, they have the right to call whomever they wish. Police have the right to listen to the phone call unless the person is contacting a lawyer.
Documenting illegal actions
It can be hard to get crucial information amid an intense police dispute. But if possible, those under arrest should write down everything they remember. That can include officers’ badge and patrol car numbers, where the officers were from and any other essential details. Once that information gets collected, victims should file a complaint with the police station’s internal affairs division or send it to a civilian complaint board.
Dealing with unlawful arrest can be nervewracking. But with the right tools and resources, victims can get professional representation and the justice they deserve.