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To most people, the closest they will get to the criminal justice system is through episodes Law & Order or CSI. Those arrested in real life often find that the reality of being arrested is not like it is on television. Many assume that as they are arrested, the police will recite their Miranda rights. They also assume that if they are arrested at 4 pm, they will be able to make bail and be home in time for the six o’clock news. In reality, neither scenario is true.

Here are some basic truths about getting arrested:

  • The First Amendment protects your right to mouth off to the police. However, mouthing off to the police is never a good idea if they’re cuffing you.
  • It is never a good idea to try to fight a police officer.
  • If you are being arrested, it not a good idea to try to run from a police officer. In fact, it’s illegal.
  • No one has to read you your Miranda rights unless you are going to be interrogated.
  • It is *never* a good idea to talk to the police without your lawyer present.
  • If you are arrested, it will probably take a while before you can get bail and are released.
If you are arrested, one of the first things you will want to do after getting out of jail is hire a well-qualified criminal defense attorney. For more information about hiring a criminal defense attorney, go to:


Of course, all of this is assuming that you are arrested. For summary offenses, the police may issue a citation ordering you to either plead guilty and send in a fine or plead not guilty and have a summary trial.