Ordinary Hoosiers may be arrested for any number of reasons. Although police officers must follow strict protocols and respect citizens’ rights, they’re not infallible. If you’re arrested for any reason, you should understand your rights and obligations. These five tips could be integral to the outcome of your case.

5 Tips to follow if you have been arrested

1. Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

You’ve probably heard of the “right to remain silent.” Also known as Miranda Rights, this protocol is designed to protect you from self-incrimination during your arrest and questioning. Although the law itself is uncontroversial, recent court decisions have raised doubt about whether Miranda Rights exist in the absence of their invocation. To ensure that you can’t be forced to incriminate yourself, verbally invoke your right to remain silent. Once this is done, refrain from speaking without a lawyer at your side.

2. Don’t Consent to Warrantless Searches

Although exceptions can be made in limited circumstances, police are generally prohibited from searching vehicles, homes or individuals without a warrant. If an officer asks to look through anything that belongs to you, politely refuse. Instead, ask them to obtain a warrant for the search.

3. Confirm Whether You’re Actually Under Arrest

These days, it’s not uncommon for police departments to hold “material witnesses” or “persons of interest” for “questioning.” Since you can be held for some time without being charged with a crime, this can become a major inconvenience. However, you can’t be held without any cause. If you suspect that you won’t be charged with a crime, ask an officer whether you’re actually under arrest. If he or she answers negatively, you’re free to leave custody.

4. Be Calm and Respectful

Police officers have stressful jobs. Even if you’re upset about being inconvenienced, it’s critical to remain calm and respectful in the face of persistent questioning or involuntary detention. If you interfere with official police business, you could face additional charges.

5. Speak with an attorney at Garrison Law Firm

Before you submit to questioning or waive your right to remain silent, contact the experienced Indianapolis attorneys at Garrison Law Firm and wait for him or her to arrive at your detention facility. Our trained lawyers can advise you on which questions you can safely answer and which you should avoid.

If you are arrested or taken in to custody by an officer of the law, you shouldn’t give in to panic. Instead, use the tips that we’ve outlined above to avoid incriminating yourself. Since it’s generally not a good idea to try to represent yourself in a serious criminal matter, you should also make arrangements to speak with our experienced criminal defense attorneys who understands the ramifications of your situation and can advise you as to the appropriate course of action. For more information, contact us online or call (317) 842-8283.