If you have been arrested, you may feel that the more cooperative you are, the easier the police will be on you. On the other hand, you may feel that your arrest is so unjustified that you behave belligerently to the arresting officers. Both of these tactics are wrong. Check out these lists, so you will know how to handle an arrest if it happens.


  • Be polite to the police. Do not, under any circumstances, threaten them.
  • Look carefully at the arresting officer so that you can identify him or her later.
  • Show the officer your driver’s license and registration information if you are arrested in your car.
  • Wait until your attorney is present before you say anything.
  • Ask if you are under arrest. If you are, you have the right to be told why.
  • Make it a point to remember what happened during the arrest and write it all down so that you can use that writing to refresh your memory at a later date.
  • Seek immediate medical attention if you are physically injured by the police during the course of your arrest. Inform your medical providers of the cause of your injuries. Take photographs of your injuries as soon as possible.


  • Offer information to the police, no matter what tactics they use.
  • Assume that the police have a search warrant just because they say that they do. If they say they have a search warrant, ask to see it.
  • Get into an argument with the police, no matter how hard they may try to bait you into losing your temper.
  • Initiate physical contact with the police, even if you mean them no harm.
  • Hide your hands from police.
  • Run away from a police officer if you see one (or more) approaching you. This makes you look suspicious.
  • Resist arrest. Even if you think you are innocent, the time to protest comes later. If you resist arrest, you may face additional charges.
  • Allow the police to listen in on any telephone call that you make to your lawyer once you have been arrested. They cannot listen to a conversation with your lawyer because it is protected by attorney-client privilege.
  • Speak to the police about anything before your attorney arrives and talks to you first.
  • Let police search your property without your attorney’s advice.
  • Provide the police with any information other than your name and address if you are arrested unless your attorney is present.
  • Sign anything without an attorney being present.
  • Say anything if your attorney instructs that you remain silent. Let your attorney speak for you.
  • Lie to your attorney.

If you need the services of a criminal defense attorney, reach out today to the Law Office of Sara Sencer McArdle.