What to Do When Your Rights as a Protestor are Violated?

Minnesota, like every state in the United States, allows its citizenship certain freedoms when it comes to protesting. Unfortunately, anti-protesting laws are soon to follow when these rights are exercised. While there have been some proposed actions in Minnesota, citizens still have the ability to protest lawfully and unimpeded by law enforcement.

These conflicting concepts can come to a head when protests get out of control or if law enforcement takes action where action is not warranted. There is a very thin, and occasionally vague, line between lawful protest and unlawful behavior and speech. This means that your rights as a protestor can be violated. This can leave you facing unwarranted legal charges, which can be costly to your standing in the community.

What to Do When Wrongly Arrested During a Protest?

If you have been arrested during a protest, you are in for a complicated time. However, it is crucial to see if you are actually going to be charged or if law enforcement was just trying to control the crowd. If you were wrongly arrested, here’s what to do next.

  • Contact Your Lawyer – Sometimes if you are arrested at a protest, the best thing to do is just to wait and see what is going to happen. The protest may calm down and the officers may let many in their cells go without charges. However, if you believe you will be facing charges for public disturbance or assault, the best and first thing you should do is to contact your lawyer and wait for them. If interviewed before they arrive, say nothing. If you did not act violently or destructively to public or private property, there is a good chance that you won’t even face charges, but you may want your lawyer to make sure.
  • Remain Silent – This is a crucial right to exercise until you have your lawyer. However, remember that it extends to your cellmate, too. They may be a fellow protestor, but they may sell you out in a minute if given the chance.
  • Go Over the Incident – Protestors are afforded a lot of rights under the First Amendment, but there are rules. Protestors must maintain a non-violent stance. Furthermore, protestors or leaders of group protests may need to have the proper permits to protest in some spaces. Protestors are also allowed to hand out pamphlets, but they cannot block entrances or prevent people from passing. This may include blocking the middle of a road. For your case, you want to have a clear timeline of events for your case and it is even better if you have video of the events as well.
  • Know Your Rights – Having an attorney by your side is vital to your case. An experienced and aggressive attorney can help you navigate through law enforcement questioning tactics that may lead to your own conviction or even more serious charges. The most important thing to remember is that your basic rights to protest are guaranteed in the Constitution. States can expand those rights, but no state rule can restrict them.

Are You A Protestor in Need?

Have you been arrested for protesting in the Minneapolis area? Then don’t wait and contact us today. If you are facing serious charges, you need to take them seriously with the right defense attorney at your side. Kinsella & Foley Defense will make sure your rights as a protestor are persevered and you don’t face the unnecessary punishments that come with protesting arrests.