A couple months ago, I was walking to a restaurant with a friend when out of nowhere, two cops tackle him to the ground and put him in cuffs. They did the reading-the-rights thing (as far as I could tell), but wouldn’t tell him what he was being arrested for. The cops also made him unlock his iPhone and they scrolled through his texts and maybe opened a few other apps. He was taken away to jail and released a few hours later – turns out he was the doppelgänger of someone who was involved in a drug bust of some kind a couple blocks away. Does he have any recourse against the police for wrongful arrest? It also got me thinking, what should you do when you’re getting arrested?
It wouldn’t be a week at Ask a Lawyer without getting an arrest question. Today I’m outlining some do’s and don’ts when find yourself afoul of the cops, whether you’re guilty or not. As with all Ask a Lawyer pieces, laws vary by jurisdiction in the U.S.—and, of course, you should get a lawyer in real life, not just read about it on the internet, if you’re arrested.
Read the rest of the column here at Deadspin.
Illustration by Sam Woolley.