Getting arrested in America isn’t difficult, by June 2020, there were 655 prisoners per 100,000 of the national population, representing the country with the highest prisoner rate in the world. After the U.S., China, Brazil, Russia, and India have all more than half of the world’s estimated 10.75 million people in prison.

But what are the most common reasons why people get arrested in America?

Larceny (Theft)

Petty theft is a crime commonly associated with poverty. While some people undoubtedly steal purely for the thrill or to enrich themselves, others steal because they can’t see any alternative. Most of us would be willing to shoplift if we felt it necessary to feed our family.

This type of theft is non-violent; it doesn’t require force or coercion. Using any kind of threat or violence while committing theft will upgrade the charges and the punishment.

Drug Possession

America’s prison population, the largest in the world, is comprised mainly of non-violent drug offenders. Depending on the state and the substance, possession of a controlled drug can carry a hefty penalty, especially for ethnic minorities.

With recreational marijuana now legal in many states, arrest numbers are falling. Unfortunately, many parts of the US are still taking a draconian approach to drugs. However, the tide is turning.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving while under the influence of drink or drugs is illegal throughout the US. This applies to medications as well as recreational drugs. If your doctor prescribes any new medication, it is good to avoid driving on it until you know how it affects you. This is true of any medicine but is doubly important with sedatives and downers that impair your reaction time.

How strictly drink-driving rules are enforced depends where you are. In the more rural parts of the United States, cops tend to be less concerned. That doesn’t mean that you should drink and drive anywhere; you absolutely shouldn’t. If you are in a major city or suburban area, driving under the influence is generally considered a serious offense. A DUI almost definitely means going to court.

Traffic Violations

Even when Americans are stone-cold sober, some of us can’t help but drive erratically. In many parts of the US, where gang activity is a concern, cops make a point of stopping drivers over minor violations, giving them the pretext to conduct a vehicle search. This activity has led to a rise in the number of traffic arrests in many areas.

What To Do If You’re Arrested

Unfortunately, it isn’t just guilty and suspicious people that get arrested. Anyone can be detained, arrested, and questioned, most of those who are won’t be found guilty of any crime.

You shouldn’t wait until it happens before you find out what you should do in that situation. It is always important to know what a police officer can or cannot do. Remember, the cops aren’t your friend! If you are arrested, don’t say anything other than asking for a lawyer.

It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are or how easily you think a misunderstanding can be cleared up, don’t say or do anything without a lawyer present.

Few people ever plan on getting arrested. Even most people committing crimes don’t expect ever to get caught. But, guilty or not, if the police arrest you, it is essential to know your rights. Remember, you always have the right to a lawyer.o