In a situation where one is having a confrontation with the police, or when one is being arrested for an alleged offence, there are certain things we do doing, wittingly or unwittingly, that can compound an already bad situation.
In this article, we provide a guide on how to manage an arrest situation involving a police and other law enforcement agents.
- Make no attempt to flee; doing so may raise suspicions about you.
- Do not argue with, insult, threaten, or assault the security officer.
- Show them your ID or identify yourself in any way you can.
- If the security officers are dressed in mufti, request that they identify themselves.
- Write down the agent’s name or badge number. These are emblazoned on their uniforms. If you can, write down their license plate number.
- Find out why you’ve been arrested or detained from the agent.
- Request an arrest warrant (that is, if you are not being arrested at the scene of a crime). Arresting someone without a warrant signed by a magistrate or a senior police officer is illegal.
- If the police or a security guard attempts to search your home or office, demand that they show you a search warrant signed by a magistrate or a senior police officer. Any search that is conducted without a warrant is illegal.
- You are not required to speak to the arresting officer. It is critical to understand that you have the right to remain silent until you see your lawyer.
10. Do not attempt to evade arrest. This is an offense in and of itself. Depending on the severity of the action, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor or felony.
- If a security guard assaults you or inflicts a wound or injury on you, take pictures and request first aid.
- Take careful notes and identify witnesses at the scene of the crime or where you are being arrested.
- Contact your relatives, friends, and lawyer while at the station or place of detention.
- Don’t say or write too much. Keep in mind that anything you say or write can be used against you in court. Please only make a signed statement in the presence of your lawyer.
15. Make or sign a statement only in the presence of your lawyer.
16. If the charge against you is not a capital offense (one punishable by life imprisonment or death) and you have already been detained for more than 48 hours, your lawyer should ask for your unconditional release or demand that you be granted bail.
17. If the police or security agency refuses to grant bail but insists on charging you in court, your lawyer can appear in court and make a written or oral application for bail.
18 . If the police or security agency denies you bail, refuses to charge you in court, and detains you indefinitely, your lawyer should immediately file an action in court to enforce your Fundamental (Human) Rights and seek an order for your immediate release from detention as well as a restraining order against further arrest.
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