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15 Tips to Protect Your Rights After Being Arrested During a Protest


The tragic death of George Floyd has sparked huge protests against police brutality and other injustices against African Americans throughout the United States and all over the world. While protesters have a constitutional right to voice their opinions, many of them have been still been arrested by law enforcement officials.

In the event of an arrest, here are 15 tips to help you avoid conviction and protect your rights:

  1. Do not resist arrest. Unfortunately, the law says that even if you have committed no crime you cannot legally resist arrest.

  1. You can be arrested for most Class C misdemeanors

  1. There is a strict two-year statute of limitations on false arrest cases in Texas FROM THE DAY OF ARREST. Even if a criminal case is still pending you must file the lawsuit and name all defendants by the two-year anniversary of your arrest. Caveat: there are a few exceptions but best to file.

  1. It is legal to record on your cell phone police interactions (hopefully you have cloud storage)

  1. Do not swear or shout or call officers stupid but feel free to ask what you are being arrested for

  1. Do not say you are going to sue or that you know influential people (sounds bad at trial)

  1. If asked give officers your name, telephone number, address and other identifying information, while you are not legally required to do so (unless driving) produce your ID upon request

  1. Jail phone calls are recorded and can be used against you

  1. If you are injured, try and go to the jail clinic and see a doctor when you get out

  1. If there is any evidence on your attire-blood, dirt, rips-put your clothes in a plastic bag and store them away

  1. Take photos of all injuries

  1. If you have a chance to get the name and number of a witness do so

  1. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible

  1. If you take deferred adjudication or pretrial intervention you cannot have a false arrest case. Possibly even if you write an apology or spend a day volunteering this may stop your false arrest case

  1. Your criminal defense lawyer can subpoena all body camera footage, get the 911 calls and other evidence. If you do not have good proof of your innocence you may be hard-pressed to get a civil rights lawyer to take your case.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for protesting in Dallas, The Law Office of Patrick J. McLain, PLLC has more than 30 years of experience protecting the rights and freedom of our clients. With our comprehensive understanding of the Texas criminal justice system, we have successfully handled thousands of cases.

Contact us today at (214) 238-9392 to discuss your case with our legal team.

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