Know your rights: Do’s and don’ts when placed under arrest in New Jersey

Know your rights: Do’s and don’ts when placed under arrest in New Jersey

It’s important to know what you should do when you get arrested in New Jersey. But equally important is knowing what you shouldn’t do.

You may feel panic or fear while being arrested, but it pays to be calm before, during, and after being placed under arrest. That said, you must also know what your rights are when arrested. Wrongful arrests can have serious legal, financial, and personal repercussions — you do not want to worsen an already stressful situation.

Getting arrested in New Jersey

Perhaps popular entertainment (TV shows and movies) gave you an idea of what happens when a person is placed under arrest: a policeman apprehends a person who has committed a crime, or is accused of committing one, and takes him or her into custody (i.e., in jail).

It may also be because of popular entertainment that you’ve become familiar with the Miranda rights, which is a type of warning given by the police to notify the arrested person that he or she has the right to remain silent and has the right to a lawyer. Note that waiving your Miranda rights may put you at risk of incriminating yourself.

Besides invoking your rights, these are the things you should and shouldn’t do before, during, and after an arrest:


  • Remain silent. Should you feel compelled to say anything at all, let the arresting officer know what your rights are. Any statement you tell the police can be used against you in court. And if you decide to waive your Miranda rights, you give up your right to not say anything and accidentally implicate yourself.
  • Provide basic information such as your name, age, and address. Providing such information is acceptable and will be used for record-keeping purposes only. Make sure you don’t tell the police anything related to your case. Answering any questions from the police will only help them build a case against you.
  • Ask police officers for a warrant of arrest, if they ask to search you. If they have a warrant, you must comply and allow them to search. In some instances, the police may conduct a non-thorough search, which is fine. However, note that some police officers may resort to unusual methods to perform their job. In any case, it’s crucial that you...
  • Call a criminal defense attorney in New Jersey. You must request one immediately following your arrest. Obtaining legal counsel is the best way to know as much as you possibly can about what your rights are and what your best options are.

Meanwhile, here are the things you shouldn’t do:


  • Resist arrest. Using force will only worsen the situation. If you do, you may be accused of criminal charges like resisting arrest, eluding the police, or obstructing the law. If you resist arrest and it results in even the slightest injuries to the arresting officer, you may be charged with aggravated assault.
  • Talk to family members or friends immediately following an arrest. It’s best to operate under the assumption that your conversations are being monitored and that you are being closely observed.
  • Sign any documents, especially if you don’t fully understand them. It’s best to wait for an attorney who can advise you on the best course of action.

Getting arrested can have a profound, lasting impact on your life. To get a fair outcome, you should know your rights and what to do if you are placed under arrest. KMH&L Attorneys are passionate about giving the best defense possible in case of an arrest in New Jersey. Consult our criminal defense attorneys to protect your rights.