What to do if You're Arrested at a Protest.
7 Must-Do Steps if You're Arrested at a Protest.
Protesting is a right that’s protected by our Constitution, the most important legal document of our nation. If you’re unlawfully arrested at a protest, follow these 7 steps to ensure your constitutional rights are protect.
1. Leave your important possessions at home.
All of your possessions will be taken into evidence at the time of your arrest. Avoid the possibility that some of these items will be “misplaced,” and simply leave any non-essentials at home.
Keep in mind your telephone will likely be taken from you at the time of your arrest, but we’ll discuss that more below.
2. Write the number of a lawyer on your body.
Before going to a protest, I recommend writing the contact numbers of an attorney or legal service on your arm. This ensures you will know how to reach them even if the police confiscate your phone.
3. Have someone record your arrest.
If you’re arrested unlawfully at a protest, you want to capture video evidence. This evidence will eventually be reviewed by a judge or jury, and may help to find you not guilty or have your charges completely dropped.
4. Shut up.
Say nothing. Alternatively, say you are invoking your right to remain silent or that your lawyer told you to not speak until you can talk to them.
5. Don't give access to your phone.
While the officers have a right to take your phone away, they may not search your phone without your consent.
Disable Touch ID, Face ID, and make sure you have a long password (not “1234”).
6. Don't give a DNA sample.
You are not required to give a DNA sample, no matter what anyone tells you. Don’t believe anyone that tells you it is standard procedure. Do not give a cheek swab, or leave your DNA on bottles, cans, or other consumables.
7. Stay calm.
You want to be the more calm, rational person during the arrest. If the arrest is being recorded, this will certainly help. No one sympathizes with an antagonizer, even if they have every legal right to behave that way. Optics are important.
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