Official statistics show that there were over 150,000 arrests in the state of Minnesota in 2019.
Regardless of the circumstances, most arrests tend to unfold in a similar fashion. The correct approach for the person being detained to take also remains largely the same from one arrest to the next.
Short of enlisting the help of a competent criminal lawyer, there’s not a lot you can do while getting arrested to actively improve your situation. However, there are things you can avoid doing so you don’t make matters worse for yourself.
An arrest occurs when a police officer detains you in custody and does not allow you to leave. You don’t have to be in handcuffs to be under arrest; as long as your freedom to leave has been removed, you have been arrested.
A law enforcement officer can only arrest you if they see you committing a crime, they have probable cause that you committed a crime, or they have a warrant from a judge (this would also have to be supported by probable cause).
An arrest doesn’t have to end in a criminal conviction, or even a charge. The following are steps you can take to maximize your chances of emerging from an arrest without any further issues.
Be Clear About What’s Happening
First and foremost, you need to make sure you’re actually under arrest. Police officers may pull over your vehicle or attempt to question you without actually arresting you. If you’re not under arrest, the police cannot detain you.
It’s therefore a good idea to ask an officer if you’re under arrest if they approach you to talk about a crime. If you’re not, you’re under no obligation to remain where you are or share any information with them.
Your rights when being arrested are known as Miranda rights. You may be familiar with the key rights from movies or television shows; they are:
- The right to remain silent,
- The right to an attorney, and
- The right to know that any statement you make may be used against you later on.
The first of these is the most relevant at the moment of arrest; you need to remember not to say anything to arresting officers, especially if it’s incriminating. Sharing your basic information (name, address, and date of birth) is OK, but nothing more than that.
When you’re in any kind of legal trouble, contacting a lawyer is the best first step toward getting out of it. Once your attorney arrives on the scene, they’ll be able to decide how best to handle the situation on the basis of what you tell them.
Many people lose their cool while being placed under arrest, taking actions that only serve to make their situation far worse. You should avoid doing any of the following if you’re being placed in custody.
You should cooperate fully with your arresting officer. Don’t physically struggle, refuse handcuffs, or refuse to get into a police vehicle.
Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor offense in Minnesota, carrying penalties of up to 90 days in custody, a fine of up to $1,000, or both. It can be upgraded to a gross misdemeanor if you use any physical force in resisting which carries penalties of up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $3,000. It could also be a felony if, by resisting, you cause or create the risk of death, substantial bodily harm, or significant property damage.
Under no circumstance should you ever consider fleeing an arrest by a police officer. As most states, Minnesota has stringent laws that punish individuals that try to flee a police officer by foot or in a motor vehicle. Also, to do so would only make the situation you find yourself in much worse and the potential penalties you might already have been facing more severe.
While you should cooperate with any reasonable request a member of police makes, you should not speak without good reason. If officers attempt to discuss your case with you, you should insist on seeing a lawyer before saying anything. Also, while in a detention facility, you shouldn’t discuss your situation with other inmates, or with your family over the phone.
This rule applies even if you weren’t involved in any criminal activity; unjust convictions can and do happen. It’s safest to simply remain silent in the vast majority of cases. If you’ve been arrested in Minnesota for a DWI offense, or another of the criminal issues we deal with, contact us today. We offer free ini