Arrested? Know What to Do and What Not

A person is said to be arrested if a police officer takes that person into police custody. A person can be arrested if an officer sees the person commit a crime or the officer has probable cause (reason to believe) that the person has committed a felony (any crime punishable by state prison). A person can also be arrested if a judge or magistrate has issued an arrest warrant, supported by probable cause.

Things to remember if you are arrested:

1.   Remain silent: 

It is important to remember that you have the right to remain silent and talk to an advocate if you are arrested. But these rights protect you only if you use them by remaining silent. If you are arrested, then it is best to keep quiet until a lawyer represents you.

2.   Do not resist arrest: 

Resisting an arrest at any point in time is always a bad idea. Law does not give the right to any person to resist an arrest. Therefore, if a person resists an arrest using force, he can be charged with resisting arrest or battery on an officer. Even if the law does not give the right to resist an arrest, it provides remedies if a person is illegally arrested. The remedies are, however, availed in the courts of law. Therefore, if you think that you are illegally arrested, instead of opposing such arrest using force, better co-operate with police during the arrest and fight against it in Court.

3.   Miranda Rights:

The rights of an arrested person to remain silent and talk to an advocate are called “Miranda Rights”. Make sure that you use your Miranda rights after being rights. Police Officers often compel arrested persons for signing a Miranda waiver document which takes the rights of remaining silent and talking to a lawyer away from the arrested person. Make sure you don’t sign any such document.

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4.   Call for Help:

In almost all parts of India, an arrested person can make phone calls to his relatives and lawyer to call for help after his arrest. Make sure you avail of this option and call for help in time.

5.   Free Legal Assistance:

If an arrested person cannot afford lawyer fees, then the state has provided an advocate to such an arrested person. Getting Legal Aid is the right of the arrested person; therefore, you should keep in mind that every person has a right to talk to an advocate. However, it is necessary to communicate to the prison authorities that you need Legal Aid.

6.   Take no step without legal consultation:

In most cases, the police misguide arrested persons under the pretext of making their prison terms short. The Police Officers try to get confessions and information from the arrested persons by way of misguiding them. The statement given by the accused persons later is used against the accused persons in the courts. Thus you must talk to an advocate and take his advice before taking any step while in custody. Also, it is pertinent to know all actions and phone calls of arrested persons are tracked and recorded. Only phone calls with Lawyers and not recorded. Thus Lawyers are the first people you would want to talk to after getting arrested. 

Article by Harshwardhan Pawar – Intern

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