Remaining Calm: Tennessee Criminal Law
It takes only a few seconds to make a decision that will impact you for the rest of your life. But just because you find yourself in handcuffs, watching the blue and red lights flash against the buildings of the neighborhood around you, doesn’t mean that you no longer have any choices. The rights you have been read by the arresting police officers talk about your rights, such as a right to remain silent, or a right to an attorney, but it doesn’t mention one very important right you need to exercise.
You need to remain calm. You have a right to not make anything worse on yourself as you go through due process and your rights as a citizen are recognized. This can be difficult to comprehend because if the words are true that you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, then why are you being detained? Why is every move you make taken into consideration from the moment that police officer put you in handcuffs? If you are innocent then why are you in the same facility as convicted criminals?
The entire process of Tennessee criminal law is hard to understand. It is confusing, and terrifying, and based on the choices made in a split second, you might be panicking as you watch your freedoms slip away like sand between your fingers.
Remaining calm, especially in a time where the police are under as much scrutiny for conduct as those they are arresting, can mean the difference between expensive and lengthy trials, incarceration, and a black mark next to your name for the rest of your life, regardless of the length of your sentence. You can be cooperative without giving up your right to remain silent. Remain calm. Take deep breaths–this will reduce your heart rate and slow the adrenaline that is running through your veins–and you will make better decisions. Your memory will work better. You can remain silent and not give any details, especially any accidental confessions to something you didn’t do, only if you remain calm and carefully consider everything you do or say.
Remain calm and politely ask to speak with your attorney. Be persistent, but not belligerent. And above all else, don’t make your situation worse by doing or saying something that will be twisted and used against you in a court of law. Once you have that handled, the hard part of Tennessee criminal law is already taken care of!