fact vs myth

Getting arrested is not a pleasant experience and one that most people would rather avoid. Yet arrests happen, and with surprising frequency. According to the Vera Institute, someone is arrested in the United States every three seconds. While obeying the laws and not becoming wrapped up in illicit activities is a great way to avoid arrest, you cannot completely rule out the chance that someday officers will arrive to take you into custody for some perceived offense.

If that happens, it is crucial to remember that an arrest is merely the beginning of a criminal prosecution. An arrest does not mean you are guilty of a crime and it does not mean you must wait in jail for months or years for your case to resolve.

It is equally important not to buy into many of the myths about arrest. Learning the truth can not only protect your legal rights but it can keep you alive.

Myth #1: I Have the Right to Resist an Unlawful Arrest

You may feel as if you are falsely accused or the victim of police persecution. No matter the reason, the law does not give you the right to physically resist being placed under arrest by law enforcement officers. What is more, officers are legally permitted to use reasonable force to place you under arrest. By physically resisting, you are increasing the likelihood that officers will respond with additional force.

Myth #2: Officers Must Read You Your Miranda Rights and Tell You What You are Charged With

Chalk this myth up to television and movies. When you are placed under arrest, officers do not have to give you your Miranda rights that very moment. In fact, if officers do not intend to ask you any questions about the alleged crime, they do not have to give you the Miranda warnings at all. Yet any statements you volunteer to police can still be used against you later.

Similarly, officers should, but do not need to, inform you of why they are placing you under arrest the moment they place handcuffs on you. A failure to tell you the charges you are being arrested on or that you have a warrant for your arrest does not, in and of themselves, make your arrest illegal.

Myth #3: An Arrest Means You are Guilty

Officers only need probable cause, either from a warrant or from their own investigation, to place you under arrest. Being placed under arrest does not say anything about the strength of the evidence against you. There are defendants who are easily convicted of crimes but who never were placed under arrest for those crimes. Conversely, there are defendant arrested on charges who can get those charges reduced or dismissed.

Call Attorney Kerrisa Chelkowski If You Have Been Arrested

Reach out immediately to the Law Office of Kerrisa Chelkowski if you have been arrested for any offense. Your San Antonio criminal defense attorney Kerrisa Chelkowski can not only help defend you against the allegations but can also assist in securing your relesase from jail pending your next court date. 

Call the Law Office of Kerrisa Chelkowski at (210) 228-9393 or contact the office online.