What should I do if I get arrested?by Elizabeth Stawicki, Minnesota Public Radio
We've put together a survival guide to help you prepare for the RNC. Today, we'll answer the question, "What should I do if I'm arrested during the RNC?"
St. Paul, Minn. — Police say they'll do everything possible to avoid the mass arrests that occurred at the 2004 RNC in New York. Then, police arrested more than 1,800 people on charges such as disorderly conduct and parading without permits. Some pedestrians got swept up just walking to work.
On the off chance you happen to get arrested during the RNC, or at any time for that matter, one attorney has some advice on what to do and what not to do.
"Try to stay calm and don't argue with police," said Teresa Nelson, a legal counselor for the American Civil Liberties Union in Minnesota. "You're not going to be able to argue your way out of whatever's coming and you're just going to make matters worse so you need to fight it later.
"We also tell people to keep their hands where police can see them, never touch a police officer, don't run away from a police officer, or resist if they're trying to take you into custody because those things can lead to further charges," Nelson said.
Nelson also said resist the urge to argue by asking for a lawyer, give your name and address or a judge could hold you in contempt. Otherwise, invoke your constitutional right to remain silent.
"Even if you don't think that whatever you're saying is incriminating and can be used against you, you just never know what can happen in the future and so it's best to not speak," she said.
And what if an officer wants to search you?
"There are some things that the Fourth Amendment will allow them to do," Nelson said. "If they suspect you of something they can pat you down for weapons and it is best not to physically resist but make it clear to them that you do not consent to the search."
Nelson also advises to remember as much as you can about what was happening at the time of the arrest because it could be helpful to your defense later.