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Criminal Defense Resources
- Find Criminal Defense Lawyers, Criminal Law Attorney Finder
- The Changing Landscape of Drug Laws in the United State
- No Jail Time: Choosing the Right Plea Bargain Strategy
- The Rights of Immigrants Charged with Criminal Offenses
- When Misdemeanors Escalate Into Felonies
- Even White Collar Crimes Carry Long Prison Sentences
- More Criminal Defense Articles
Arrested After Acting In Self-Defense - Things To Do
The laws of all 50 states protect your right to defend yourself. However, overzealous police officers may arrest you even if you did nothing wrong. If you find yourself under arrest after using force to protect yourself, remember these four steps:
- Stay Calm
- Allow Yourself To Show Controlled Emotion
- Refuse To Make A Statement
- Ask To Speak To A Lawyer
If you reasonably believe that you are in imminent risk of death or serious injury, you have the absolute right to use force, including deadly force, to save yourself. Even if you are forced to stand trial, juries are generally sympathetic to those who try to defend themselves. So try not to panic. You need to stay calm, relax and speak cautiously.
While you should avoid losing control, screaming or crying uncontrollably, it is perfectly acceptable to show that you are shaken by what happened. The police will be watching you, and if you appear emotionless, they may interpret that as a sign of guilt. You just survived a violent, dangerous encounter. Do not be afraid to let the officers see that it affected you.
The arresting officers will pressure you to make a statement. Even if they know you will deny any wrongdoing, they will take every chance to record your story. Each time you talk about what happened, you risk contradicting yourself. The police know this, and they want to place you on the record as many times as possible. However, you have nothing to gain by talking to the police. If you say something that helps your case, it will be considered hearsay, and the officer will not be allowed to testify about it in court. If you say something damaging, however, your statement will be considered an admission and will be admissible as evidence.
The police are not responsible for protecting your rights. Their only concern is solving the case and getting a conviction. At the first opportunity, ask to speak with a criminal defense lawyer. A defense attorney will help you fight for your rights and protect your freedom.