Life is complicated, and your path may cross with that of law enforcement, resulting in you being detained or even arrested. What should you do from here?
Keep your hands visible, and don’t make sudden movements. Don’t fight or run. If they ask for your name, give it to them. Unless you are a nonimmigrant tourist, that is the only question you legally have to answer.
Ask if you are being arrested and if they say no, ask if you can leave. If they are arresting you, you may tell them that you choose to remain silent and won’t speak without a lawyer present.
Verbally expressing non-consent to a pat-down won’t stop it from happening, but having done so may help you later in court.
Know Your Options
Do not sign or comment on anything without advice from your lawyer first. If hiring a lawyer is financially out of your reach, you will be given one by the court when you go to trial; you may ask how to reach them. Remember that your call to them will be confidential, but if you contact anyone else, it won’t be, and your call may be recorded or listened in on.
Continue to remain silent. Do not talk with other detainees. Do not talk with officers, even if they weren’t involved in your arrest. Anything you say while detained can and will be used against you, even if the person you’re speaking with seems friendly or “on your side.” Do not let anyone convince you that if you plead your case or try to explain things without a lawyer that you will be let go.
After you’re processed, you may be held on bail. You should contact family or your lawyer to help you with bail bonds Lancaster County PA if you cannot afford the full price of bail. The bondsman will ask for a nonrefundable 10% in exchange for paying the entire bail, but you will get home safely and quickly. If you do not show up for your court appearance, you will be expected to pay the entirety of your bail.
If you feel that you were unlawfully arrested or that unnecessary force was used, write down as much detail as you can remember about the arrest, including identifying information about the arresting officer and others present. You should take pictures of injuries that resulted from your encounter and go see a doctor as soon as possible. Staying calm throughout the process is the best thing you can do for yourself. Remember to breathe. You will get through this.