Know Your Rights: 3 Things Cops Can’t do When Arresting You

Written by on October 13, 2012 in Lifestyle - No comments | Print this page


Nobody wants to get arrested. There are few things you can do to help the situation go as smoothly as possible. Knowing you rights is critical when dealing with police matters. Arrests can be scary, but no cop should ever use excessive force. Cops cannot force you to incriminate yourself during an arrest. The best way to exercise your Fifth Amendment right is to remain silent. Finally, cops cannot withhold a lawyer from you.

Cops Cannot Use Excessive Force

No police officer can ever use excessive force when handling an arrest. Excessive force can be anything from physical and verbal abuse to discharging a weapon. It is important to remain calm and cooperative during an arrest. Do not give a police officer a reason to use excessive force. If you suspect that excessive force has been used, let your lawyer know the details.

Cops Cannot Force You to Talk

Americans are very fortunate to have the right to remain silent. Everybody hears about this one, but few utilize it. Remaining silent during an arrest is the most important thing you can do. A cop may lie to you, or use intimidating language to get you to incriminate yourself. It should be your top priority to keep your mouth shut. Some cops will try to make small talk to seem nice.

It is their job to try to get incriminating information out of you. Your words will be recorded and used against you in a court of law. Many people may want to speak to seem more innocent. This is a mistake. Nobody was ever held in font a judge for exercising his right against self-incrimination. The only safe time to speak is when asking for a lawyer.

Cops Cannot Withhold Legal Representation

Cops cannot withhold legal representation from you. This is especially tricky for somebody who has never been in the legal system before. A cop may try to talk you into confessing to a crime. Anything you tell a cop can be used against you. A cop is not in the business of making sure your legal rights are defended. Ask for a lawyer up front. If a cop refuses to let you call a lawyer, do not begin speaking. Remain silent until a lawyer can be provided to look after your interests. If you cannot call a cop, request a public defender. Although it may take some time, a cop can never withhold legal representation.

Understanding your rights is the first step in properly handling an arrest. Cops that use excessive force may face legal ramifications. It is imperative to remain silent and request an attorney during arrest procedures. Knowing your rights can help keep you out of prison.

This is a guest post.  Peter Wendt is a freelance writer and researcher living in Austin, Texas.  Peter has a passion for criminal law issues, and constantly seeks to educate citizens about their rights.  If you ever find yourself on the wrong side of the law Peter highly recommends contacting a good criminal defense law firm concerning your case.


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