Hopefully, you never experience getting arrested or being woken up in the middle of the night by a call made from a police station. No matter how law-abiding and careful you are, however, there are times when being confronted by the police is inevitable. When you or someone you know face the prospect of getting arrested, you should know exactly what to do. However, getting you on the right mindset involves debunking a lot of popular myths about it first.
Believe it or not, you’ve become a victim of arrest myths at least once in your life, thanks to popular media. Unless you’ve been watching credible police drama and reading reputable police procedural novels, then an arrest may be a lot different from what you expect.
Myth 1: You Must Answer Every Question
By law, you are required to give identification details when a police officer demands them due to certain circumstances. Still, this is something that depends on what state you live in. Nearly 50 percent of states in America give police officers the right to acquire this information, so if you’re unsure whether that applies to you, it’s worth checking.
That said, you’re not uncooperative when you ask to speak to your lawyer first. You have no legal obligation to participate in an interrogation with police officers or prosecutors if you don’t want to. Some situations may affect this, but if you’re not confident about answering questions without legal counsel, know that it’s your right to remain silent.
Myth 2: Only A Lawyer Can Bail You
You’ll be pleased to know that anybody over the age of 18 can bail someone. You don’t need to hire a lawyer at once to get a loved one out of prison. Once a person has been arrested and booked into the system, their bail status becomes available. All that’s left is to prepare that amount, post a bond, and wait for your loved one to be freed.
Unfortunately, not everyone has experience to handle this matter efficiently and quickly enough. There’s also the issue of acquiring the funds to post the bond. If, for example, your loved one is arrested in Utah and you want to get them out of jail ASAP, contacting an agent who handles bail bonds is your best option. Also known as a bail bondsman, this company sends agents to talk to the police, fill out the forms, post the bond, and get your loved one out. It’s an old professional service that you can take advantage of to lessen the stress of handling an arrest.
Myth 3: You Can Make One Phone Call
This is something you often see in movies, and while some states do let you make one phone call once you’re in the police station, it’s not a constitutional right. This means that they can refuse to let you near a phone after your arrest, and they won’t be breaking any law by doing so. In fact, they can keep you from making any contact with the outside world while you are in custody. However, there are times when a police officer might feel generous and allow you one or two calls upon your arrest. This depends largely on the circumstances and the officers you encounter.
Myth 4: The Police Needs to Recite the Miranda Warning
The Miranda Warning is another aspect of arrest that has been made popular by Hollywood movies and TV shows. Whenever a person is being arrested and doesn’t hear this recited, you may automatically feel that the police are wrong. The fact is, that’s not always true.
You will only be read the Miranda Warning if you will be taken into custody or they want to use the conversation you had with them in court. Otherwise, the police have no obligation to recite this to you.
Myth 5: Police Officers Always Need a Warrant
A popular use of warrants in media is when the police need to enter a home. However, the law recognizes the flaw in this and has thus allows officers to forcibly enter any house under specific circumstances. If they feel that you will flee, destroy evidence, or harm anyone, they have every right to enter your home and arrest you.
Turn to a Credible Source
It’s time to stop letting the movies dictate your knowledge about arrest and law in general. If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge on this matter on the off-chance that you experience this problem, turn to credible sources. In the process, you might uncover more myths that you believed to be true for so many years.