Facing an arrest can be a nerve-wracking situation. Trying to remember what you have heard and what you have seen on police videos may make up an overwhelming amount of information.
You may understand the basics of what the Miranda warning means. Still, often, the officer’s questions feel like an uncomfortable mix of casual conversation and intimidation.
Here’s what you should know about your rights during an arrest and what you
Do I have to say anything?
During an arrest, you have a critical right, the right to remain silent. Although remaining silent is a simple task, it becomes complicated when an officer starts asking questions.
If you are out in public and not driving a vehicle, you do not have an obligation to identify yourself (but if you do identify yourself, you need to tell the truth).
What you should (or should not) say to the police
Saying you should remain silent often seems easier said than done. It can often feel awkward to stay silent when an officer is asking you questions. If you feel like you need to respond, you can simply say, “I would like to speak with my lawyer.”
Although an officer may continue to ask you questions, stating that you want to speak to your lawyer can communicate to the officer why you are not responding and help ease the awkwardness of being silent.
Keep in mind that even answers that seem like they will not harm your future case could be problematic. There will be opportunities to speak later, but you cannot take your words back if you speak during an arrest.
You can still be polite
Exercising your right to remain silent does not mean you need to be rude. You can still comply with a “stop and frisk” if the officer believes you have a weapon or work with other requests the officer has.
If you are unsure if you are under arrest, you can ask the officer if you are free to leave. If the officer is asking for more than a frisk search, you can refuse other searches. Remember, an officer does not need a warrant to search you if you agree to the search.