If you get arrested in Chicago, it’s important to know your rights. An officer can arrest you if he or she sees you committing a crime, has probable cause that you committed a felony, or if he or she has a warrant for your arrest.
In this post, we’re going to tell you what not to do at your arrest, and how to get help if you are charged with resisting or obstructing arrest.
You Cannot Use Force
You can be charged with resisting arrest or other serious offenses if you use force against an officer. You need to fight back in court with a Chicago attorney’s help, not fight back on the street where you are arrested.
You Cannot Resist a Search
The officer may search you or your property at the scene of the arrest, at the jail, or both. If you resist this search, you could face charges.
The police have the right to seize any evidence they find that could be used against you. Officers will photograph you and take your picture, and the arrest may be posted online in local newspapers.
There is nothing you can do to prevent this from happening.
You Don’t Have to Answer Questions
You are protected by Miranda rights that give you the right to remain silent. However, you do need to provide basic information, such as your name and other identifying information, for the booking.
Request the presence of an attorney before you answer any probing questions by police.
If you answer these questions on your own, you run the risk of accidently incriminating yourself. Your attorney can advise you on how to answer questions so you protect yourself.
You Don’t Need to Speak to Anyone
It’s important to keep quiet around everyone – including other inmates or family and friends who visit you. Assume the police are listening in on everything you say and looking for information to hold against you.
You can simply say, “I don’t want to talk,” when someone begins speaking with you. This is the best way to protect your rights until your lawyer is present.
You Shouldn’t Provide Details on the Phone
You will likely be allowed to make a phone call to an attorney, family members, or a bail bondsman. It’s wise to assume that these phone calls are recorded or monitored. Don’t say anything incriminating on the phone. Simply use the call to state basic details.
You Should Get Legal Help
In the heat of the moment during arrest, your emotions can get out of control. It’s important to keep your wits about you and enlist the help of a skilled Illinois criminal attorney to fight for your rights in court.
If your arrest was illegal, your lawyer may be able to get your charges dismissed before the case ever goes to court. Check with an attorney as soon as you are arrested to protect your rights and minimize your charges.
These things may seem obvious, but being arrested has a way of keeping people from thinking straight. They get emotional. They do stupid things.
Knowing what not to do can’t stop you from doing it, but at least it arms you with knowledge of how you should behave when you get your head on right.
About the Author:
Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and domestic violence to retail theft-related crimes, murder, and drug crimes.