They were loud, fast, and forceful. You only went out to buy a few things from the supermarket, but now you find yourself arrested and in police custody.
What should you do, and what happens next?
If you or someone you know has been taken into custody, here are notes to take in mind about what you should and shouldn’t do.
• Focus. “Why am I being arrested?” Remember that the police only had the power to arrest you because you are currently being suspected of an offense or a crime. However, an arrest does not immediately mean that you are found guilty.
• Use Your Rights. Upon being arrested, you are most likely going to be taken to the police station and be held in custody for questioning. Keep in mind that you have the right to obtain legal aid at the duration of your detainment. If you don’t have your private counsel, the police station should offer assistance for your legal matters. The governmentlists the following rights when an individual is taken custody:
a. Obtain legal advice without charge
b. Request for medical help
c. Inform immediate family members or emergency contacts of your whereabouts
d. Request the Police Codes of Practice
e. Request a Written Notice of your Rights
• Don’t Talk Without Your Legal Aid. We’ve heard it in the movies, and yes, it’s true. Anything that you say can and will be used against you. It’s not wise to talk and answer the questions of the police without taking and discussing situations first with your counsel.
• Don’t Refuse a Lawyer. You did nothing wrong, so you don’t need an attorney. Wrong. It is your right to request and be represented by your legal aid. Make sure you use it.
Most of all, try to remain calm and don’t panic. It is understandable that being arrested is a stressful situation, but being mentally alert and sound can help you have a safe and just