What Do I Do If a Police Officer Says I Am Being Detained?

In criminal cases in Rutherford County, Tennessee, our clients often find themselves face-to-face with police, at a time where police are making a decision to press charges or not. We are often asked what do I say if the officer says I am being detained or arrested?

The short answer is very simple: ask for your lawyer!

Every year, our office lectures at MTSU on police-citizen encounters and, more specifically, what to do if you are pulled over by the police. At the end of the presentation, we typically offer a simple way to end a traffic stop that we call one question, two answers.

The question is am I under arrest? No matter which way the question is answered, we advise our students to respond with only four words.

If the police say no, you are not under arrest, we advise our clients to say: I want to leave.

If the police say yes, you are under arrest, we advise our clients to say: I want my lawyer.

And that’s it!

A simple way to understand what to do if an officer says you are being detained (also called being arrested), is to respond with only four words: I want my lawyer!

Nothing else! No comments, questions, suggestions, or other information. Be respectful, ask for your lawyer, and understand that the police have an important job to do, so don’t be a jerk for no reason.

If you or a friend are arrested in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, or anywhere else in Rutherford County and Middle Tennessee, give us a call and we can talk you through the next steps.

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