Arrested at a Protest - A Guide to the Criminal Process :: Temecula, Murrieta, Wildomar, Menifee Criminal Defense Law Office of Nicolai Cocis
There are many protests going on in Riverside County and our State at any given time. It would seem everyone has a cause and will march for it no matter how big or small. We see it on the news almost daily. People are marching against gun violence, picketing at abortion clinics, advocating for presidential support or dissatisfaction, and the list goes on. More than ever people are pushing their political agendas out the door and into the street. What happens when that push goes too far, and you find yourself getting arrested for what you think is right?
What to do (and not do) During Arrest
While you do have the right to protest peacefully, you do not have the right to trespass, obstruct traffic, aggressively force literature on people, or make threatening statements regarding government officials. When that line is crossed, you have put yourself at risk of arrest. If a police officer is trying to arrest you, the best legal thing you can do is keep quiet and cooperate. You will be cuffed and searched on the spot then brought to the local jail to be fingerprinted, photographed, and booked. Resisting arrest will only add to your list of charges. What started as a mere fine will easily turn into a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on your actions/behavior during your resistance. Resisting arrest and claiming the police officer has no right to arrest you will not stand up as a valid excuse. You will not win that argument with the arresting police officer.
If you were arrested for protesting on state or local property you will be brought to the local jail where you will be photographed & fingerprinted and given an arraignment date. The Pre-Trial Services department will decide if you will be booked and released or booked and held. If you were arrested for protesting on federal property you will be taken to the local jail initially and the U.S. Attorney will oversee these post-booking decisions.
Expect to spend a few hours in custody. Depending on the charges brought against you, you may need to stay in jail for several hours to several days while your release can be worked-out with the prosecutor and the court.
Contact a Professional
When the court hearings start, they can be an overwhelming experience. Everyone is entitled to a lawyer to present their defense. Having a lawyer to help you understand exactly what charges you are facing as well as the pros and cons of pleading "guilty" or "not guilty" is an invaluable resource. Whether you are spending a few hours or a few days in police custody it is always best to contact a professional when there is pending legal action against you.
The Law Office of Nicolai Cocis offers free case evaluation. When you call, you will speak directly to Mr. Cocis and he will handle your case from the beginning to the end. You can feel secure in knowing he is on your side and he will guide you through this unsettling process. You will be able to make educated decisions regarding your case while having peace of mind that someone is working just as hard right alongside you.