Being arrested is a scary experience. It’s hectic, police are ordering you to do things, and you may not even understand exactly what’s happening.
On top of that, you’re worried about what’s going to happen next – not just to you, but to your family.
Fortunately, there are three things you can do for damage control.
3 Things You MUST Do if You’re Arrested in Chicago or the Suburbs
If you’re arrested, these are the things you can do to avoid making the situation any worse than it already is:
- Cooperate with police
- Pay attention to what’s happening around you
- Tell police you want to talk to an attorney
#1. Cooperate With Police
When police give you commands, don’t argue or try to put up a fight – even if they’re wrong. In an arrest situation, police have the law backing them, and the last thing you want to do is make a police officer feel like you’re threatening or intimidating him or her.
This isn’t to say that police don’t cross the line sometimes, but it is to say that if you’re arrested, this is your best chance at keeping the situation calm and keeping yourself safe.
Here’s the biggest thing, though: When we say cooperate with police, we do not mean that you should answer their questions. Police may say things like, “We know you did it, so just admit it and we’ll make sure the judge goes easy on you” or “If you confess, the judge will take that into consideration when he’s sentencing you.”
At this point, it doesn’t matter if you’re innocent or you actually did make a mistake or commit a crime. What matters is that you do not answer any questions without first talking to a lawyer.
#2. Pay Attention to What’s Happening Around You
Keep your eyes and ears open while you’re being arrested, and try to remember every detail about what led up to your arrest. If something went wrong – like police violating your rights, for example – you’ll need to tell your attorney about it later.
As soon as you get a chance, write down everything you remember about your arrest. Include in your notes:
- What led up to your arrest
- Who saw your arrest or was with you when you were arrested
- What police did and said during your arrest
- What types of questions police asked you
- Why police told you that you were being arrested
Your lawyer will ask you all these questions, as well, so it’s better if you write down everything you remember so the information you give your attorney is as complete (and accurate) as possible.
#3. Tell Police You Want to Talk to an Attorney
You can tell the police at any point during your arrest – or after you’re booked into jail – that you want to talk to your lawyer.
You have the right to legal representation. That right is so important that we really can’t stress it enough. Having a lawyer with you while police are questioning you can make a huge difference. That’s because your lawyer will be there to protect your constitutional rights and stick up for you when police try to get you to confess to a crime.
Whether you’re innocent or guilty of the crime the cops are accusing you of committing, your lawyer will protect your rights and give you legal advice you can use to get the best possible outcome.
Related: Miranda rights explained
Have You Been Arrested?
If you’ve been arrested – or if someone you care about has been arrested – we can help you.
Call us at 847-920-4540 to talk to a criminal defense attorney right now. We’ll discuss your case, answer your questions and start creating a plan that gets you the best possible outcome.
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