It is crucial to know your rights. Know how to protect yourself during an arrest and how to defend yourself afterward. Don’t get yourself into further trouble, know how to handle this situation before it happens.
Here are the main things to remember if you ever find yourself in this situation:
Do not consent to a search
The Fourth Amendment protects you from unlawful search and seizure. A search becomes lawful if you have consented to the search, the officer has a warrant, or the officer has a valid reason, usually referred to as probable cause or exigent circumstances. If the police stop you because of possible drug possession, you should not consent to a search. An officer may start to word their questions in a less direct way to try and get information from you. A good response would be “I know you are doing your job, but I do not consent to any searches.” Make sure to stay respectful toward the officer. Never physically resist or fight the police. Even while denying consent to a search, do so calmly.
Ask if you can leave straight away
Once the officer has started asking questions, ask if you’re under arrest, on what charges, and if you are free to go. Do not answer any more questions, the police can ask you numerous questions to try and find probable cause. If the police have not charged you, and you are not under arrest, they must state that you’re free to go after you ask. You can be arrested if, the officer saw you commit a crime, or the officer has probable cause and a reasonable belief that you have committed or were about to commit a crime.
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