Certain situations in life are inherently stressful. For instance, job interviews, getting married and public speaking tend to raise people's stress levels somewhat. There's one thing that typically ranks high on most people's lists of stressful experiences in life, and that's getting arrested. If you've ever been pulled over in a traffic stop in Tennessee or were involved in some other incident that resulted in police showing up and asking questions, you likely understand how such situations cause anxiety levels to soar.
As with most urgent predicaments, it helps to remain calm and think clearly when faced with an imminent problem like getting arrested. First of all, just because you're charged with a crime doesn't necessarily mean you're going to jail. Understanding the criminal justice process and knowing your own rights ahead of time can help prevent anxiety should you wind up being told to place your hands behind your back so a police officer can apply handcuffs.
Remember these things if you're arrested
Knowing what to do when facing potential trouble with the law is often crucial toward obtaining a positive outcome. Keeping the following in mind may help you avoid further problems:
- Searches require warrants: You do not have to allow police officers to enter your home, search your vehicle or your person if they haven't produced a valid search warrant.
- Silence in sometimes golden: While it's typically best to answer an officer's questions regarding your name, address or other basic identification information, you absolutely do not have to engage in any further line of questioning related to your arrest until authorities provide you with defense assistance. By invoking your Fifth Amendment rights, you may choose to remain silent to prevent self-incrimination.
- Best to stay where you are: Although it's understandable you may be very afraid and worried about what's going to happen next when officers tell you they are placing you under arrest, it's never a good idea to resist them in any way or try to escape. Such behavior tends to make matters much worse.
- Memorize a phone number: Nowadays, people have a habit of relying on their cell phones for many things, including remembering important phone numbers. If police arrest you, they may temporarily take your phone away, so it's important to memorize at least one phone number so you can call for help.
Just because police have arrested you doesn't mean you don't have rights. In fact, it's important to pay close attention to everything police officers say and do during the events leading up to and following your arrest to determine whether officers have violated any of those rights. If so, you can bring such information to the immediate attention of an experienced criminal defense attorney who will know exactly what to do to challenge any evidence proffered in the meantime.
If you are able to make informed decisions, getting arrested needn't be so frightening. It's certainly inconvenient and may be challenging to avoid conviction, but it is also very possible to achieve positive results if you know your rights and where to turn for support.