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Plant City Observer Thursday, Sep. 29, 2016 2 years ago

What not to do if you've been arrested

Attorney Shiobhan Olivero gives her advice on what not to do if you're being arrested.

In the wake of the recent police-related shootings in Tulsa, Charlotte and in other major cities across the United States, I felt compelled to write this article for anyone who may be subject to a detainment by law enforcement. 

Read through this checklist carefully and make sure you know what not to do if you find yourself detained by law enforcement. 

Do not give information to the police.
You have the right to remain silent when arrested in Florida, and this is something you should take advantage of. No matter what tactics law enforcement uses, do not reveal any details to them or try to convince them of your innocence. Do not provide them with any information other than your name and address unless your attorney is present and approves.

Do not run.
This should come as a given, but if you try to escape an arrest, there will be additional charges. This also could cause the police officer to suspect you are hiding something and may give reason to think you have a weapon. This could pose a risk to your safety and to the safety of law enforcement.  

Do not keep your hands hidden.
You should always keep your hands visible to police officers from the moment they initiate contact with you. If they have any indication you could be concealing a weapon or reaching for one, they will pull their weapons out, and the situation can quickly escalate.

Do not resist arrest.
Refrain from is initiating any type of physical contact with police. Listen to the police officer’s instructions and do as they say. A minor misdemeanor could quickly turn into a felony charge if you act aggressively. Even if you feel you have done nothing wrong, comply. An illegal arrest should be dealt with in court with representation.

Do not get into an argument.
No matter how hard a police officer may try to cause you to lose your temper, do not talk back to them. It is very important to remain calm and stay in control of your temper.

Do not assume police have a search warrant.
If police attempt to enter your home, even if they say they have a search warrant, do not assume this is true. You are entitled to see the warrant. Request to see the warrant. If law enforcement will not allow you to see it and cannot produce a copy of it for you, state to the police they cannot enter your home. If they decide to enter, do not get aggressive, keep your hands visible and do not run. These will give them every reason to argue for a justified entry, even without a warrant. 

Shiobhan Olivero was born and raised in Plant City. Her law offices can be reached at (813) 534-0393 or by email at [email protected].

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