College may feel like a world unto itself, but the law is still the law. Thousands of college students are arrested each year in Indiana, on charges ranging from liquor law violations to illegal drug possession to sexual assault. An IndyStar inquiry found that Indiana University ranks fifth in alcohol-related arrests and disciplinary actions among the 14 Big Ten schools. If you find yourself arrested at an Indiana college, here’s what you should do next and your most important rights.
1. Remain calm and cooperative
Getting arrested is scary and sometimes unfair. You may want to lash out at the police, but it’s crucial to remain in control of your emotions and cooperate with them. Losing control of yourself can make a bad situation much worse.
2. Speak to the police as little as possible
“You have the right to remain silent” isn’t just a meaningless phrase. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that everyone has the right not to give testimony that incriminates themselves. For this reason, you have the right to remain silent in the face of interrogation by the police.
After your arrest, invoke your right to remain silent by saying, “I invoke my right to remain silent.” After that, speak as little as possible– even if you’re innocent of the charges or think you can explain away your actions. Only speak when your lawyer is present. Remember: the police can use anything you say against you. Without a lawyer, you may accidentally incriminate yourself without knowing it.
3. Ask for an attorney.
Arrested persons also have the constitutional right to ask for an attorney. Be sure to request an attorney immediately because the police must stop interrogating you once you do. If you don’t have an attorney, don’t be afraid to ask for one anyway. You are entitled to a court-appointed attorney, although you may later decide to hire a private defense attorney.
4. Ask to make a phone call
While movies and television would lead you to believe that you’re entitled to a free phone call, the reality is that using the telephone is a privilege that is offered to ensure good behavior. Fortunately, the police are usually willing to allow a person who has been calm to make a telephone call before being booked into jail. The police may not allow you to make that phone call right away–in fact, they are likely to make you wait. Try to wait patiently and calmly, as you don’t have any other choice. Use your phone call to telephone your lawyer, if you have one. Otherwise, call your parents or another trusted person. They can find a lawyer on your behalf, pick you up once the police release you, or post bail, if necessary.
The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Razumich & Associates can help Indiana college students defend themselves and plot a strategic path forward after an arrest. Call us today at (317) 983-5333.