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What are my rights during an arrest? (PART 1)

While we may hear about all kinds of police procedures on shows like "Law & Order," when the matter hits close to home, some New Hampshire residents may not really know what is true and what is false. Can I resist an arrest? Can I say no to a search? Do police officers always need a search warrant? Do I need to talk to the police officers, and if I don't, will that make things worse for me? These are all questions that may cross your mind if you are facing an arrest.

Police officers have the right to ask you some basic information, such as your name, address and what you are doing. While your first gut reaction may be to act hostile, it's typically not in your best interest to do so. Treat the officer with respect and hopefully they will do the same.

An arrest can happen with or without a warrant. While an arrest with a warrant, which is issued by an official such as a judge, is preferred, an officer can arrest an individual without a warrant. Some examples of this include:

-Domestic violence incidents-Suspected drunk driving-The officer believes the suspect may flee or destroy evidence

It's important to remember that resisting an arrest or trying to get in the way of another person's arrest is a crime. While it may be frustrating and embarrassing to deal with an arrest, do your best to stay calm and memorize everything that happened. Also, you have the right to request the names of all officers involved and their badge numbers.

In our next post we will continue this discussion and talk about your rights after an arrest and those related to a search.

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