What To Do If You Are Arrested in Ohio
Three Ways To Protect Your Legal Rights Before You Contact a Legal Defense Lawyer
By Eric Brehm, Partner at Riddell Aimar and Brehm LLC
Arrest can be an emotional experience, and those being arrested may react with behavior that endanger their civil rights. If you are arrested in Ohio, it’s extremely important that you remain calm and collected until you can contact a qualified Legal Defense Lawyer. Here are 3 things to remember:
Understand the Process
A police officer stopping you or questioning you is not the same as being arrested. You are not under arrest until you have been handcuffed and read a Miranda warning. The Miranda Warning advises you of your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and reads:
You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you. Do you understand these rights as they have been read to you?
You can protect these rights by stating that you want to speak to a lawyer.
Never Resist Arrest
When an Ohio police officer places you under arrest, the law is on his or her side for that moment in time. Try to remember that the legal system considers you to be innocent until you are proven guilty in a court of law. If you feel that the police officer is being aggressive or abusive toward you, the best thing you can do is stay calm and mentally record every detail of the arrest. You will only make things worse if you become agitated, and you might miss important details that can help your defense.
Choose to Remain Silent
If you are taken to the station for questioning, understand that unless you have been read your Miranda rights, you are free to leave. Whether or not you have been formally arrested, never answer questions without a lawyer present. Even if you are 100% innocent, anything you say can incriminate you in ways you do not understand.
If you are arrested, law enforcement officers can question you without a lawyer present—but only if you waive your right to remain silent. If you answer some questions and then decide you don’t want to answer any more until talking to your lawyer, they cannot continue to question you. Keep repeating that you want to talk to a lawyer, and do not let them wear you down.
After you have been arrested, you will be taken to a detention center for booking, which includes fingerprinting, photographing and processing you into the legal system. At the detention center, you will be granted the right to make at least one phone call. If you do not know the name and number of an experienced Legal Defense Lawyer, call a friend or loved one that you know will answer and be willing to help you.