Being arrested can be a distressing experience, especially if you know you have done nothing wrong. All you want to do is be able to prove to the officers involved that you are not at fault. However, it is not always easy for officers to get to the bottom of an investigation and it is important to bear this in mind when responding to their actions. It can be hard to stay calm when you are being treated unfairly, but if you react aggressively, you could face further charges.
Sadly, in some cases arrests are made which are difficult to justify. In some cases this can simply be put down to a misinterpretation of the law or of a given situation. One such example is the occasional arrest of individuals for refusing to identify themselves. According to Southern California’s American Civil Liberties Union, you must show ID if you have been booked or arrested or if you have been pulled over while driving. However, in other situations you generally have no legal obligation to provide identification.
In one case in Los Angeles, a pregnant woman was arrested following an alleged dispute between her and another woman. In bodycam footage, the officer stated that he saw no crime, but then requested the pregnant woman’s name. When she refused to give her full name, two officers handcuffed and arrested her. While the woman was initially charged with resisting arrest, the charges were dismissed by a judge.
The woman’s baby was born two months later and is believed to be healthy. However, the ACLU has stated that the arrest could have endangered the unborn child. In a similar case, two brothers were awarded $30,000 after being arrested for not identifying themselves in January 2014.
Cases like this are often complicated and each one is unique. However, if you feel that you have been wrongfully arrested or you are faced with criminal charges of any kind, you may benefit from the support of an attorney. He or she can advise you about your rights and may be able to assist you with clearing your name and avoiding conviction.
Source: CNN, “Police video shows ‘horrifying’ arrest of pregnant woman, ACLU says,” Michael Martinez and Kyung Lah, May 29, 2015