Here’s What You Need To Know If You’re Ever Arrested
The majority of people will never find themselves in a pair of handcuffs. That said, the world is a scary and ever-changing place, and we honestly just never know when we’re going to find ourselves on the wrong side of the law – righteously or otherwise.
Which is why it’s important to know exactly what to say and do if you ever end up in an unexpected jam.
One quick tip from the Legal Aid Society is that while you don’t have to answer any questions at all, there’s no harm in providing your name, address, and date of birth. If they accuse you of lying about your identity, that could cause even more trouble down the road.
They also claim there’s no harm in confirming the obvious, like your height weight, criminal history, or anything else they could easily obtain from a state or federal database.
If you’re an immigrant, you should not confirm your citizenship status or answer questions regarding your country of origin, however, unless advised to do so by an attorney.
If an arresting officer removes your phone or other device and asks you to unlock it, say no. They need a warrant to search your personal devices without your permission, so experts recommend using at least a 6-digit passcode and disabling eye or fingerprint scanners just in case.
If they ask for a DNA sample, you don’t have to provide that either – but make sure you don’t drink anything, smoke, chew gum, etc while in custody or they could obtain it without you knowing.
Also, say out loud that you do not consent to your DNA being tested so if they do “steal” it, you can have a chance at having it thrown out in court.
What To Do If Your Rights Are Violated
Try to remember as many details as possible, and as soon as you can, record them on video, audio, or in writing. If you can, write down badge numbers, patrol car numbers, officer’s names, what agency they work for, and what witnesses might have been present.
Record everything live if you can, and when you’re ready, you can file a complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or the civilian complaint board. You can also sue for civil rights violations, though you’ll need an airtight case there if you expect to win.
There you go – get out there and fight for justice and equality and stay safe while you’re doing it!