Being arrested for a crime can be a very stressful and overwhelming experience. As thoughts and worries flood the arrestee’s mind, it becomes difficult to act in a strategic manner that will avoid further incrimination. Although each case is different, the following tips can help an arrestee avoid making a bad situation worse:
You have a constitutional right to refuse to make a statement. USE IT! Tell the police in a polite and calm manner that you would like to remain silent. Even if you are 100% innocent, there is rarely any benefit to you talking to the police in a situation where you find yourself being arrested or brought in for questioning for a crime you allegedly committed. For more information in how important it is to remain silent, check out this video by a law professor and a former police officer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE
The police will be closely observing your behavior and, more often than not, any indication of nervousness or strange behavior will be included in their report. This is evidence that can be used against you. It is important to take some deep breaths and remain calm.
Ask for a Lawyer Immediately Upon Being Arrested
You are unlikely to receive an attorney immediately but it is important to convey to the police that you know your rights and will not speak without the advice of an attorney. Once you specifically ask for an attorney, the police cannot interrogate you without an attorney present.
Do Not Consent to Any Searches
If you are arrested at your home or in your vehicle, the police may ask for consent to search your property. You have the right to refuse consent. The police may find another way to search your property, such as by obtaining a warrant or impounding your vehicle, but in many cases, they will not. If there is any possibility that the police will find incriminating evidence on or in your property, politely say that you do not consent a search. It should be noted that anything that is on your person will be thoroughly searched, with or without your consent, if you are brought to jail.
Be Polite and Courteous Throughout Your Interaction
Even if you feel that you are being unjustly arrested or that your rights are being violated, it is important that you remain polite and courteous throughout your entire interaction with the police. Comments you make to the police will usually be included in police reports. Believe it or not, police frequently inform prosecutors of the way that arrestees act during the course of their arrest. It is not uncommon for that to be a factor that prosecutors consider when determining how zealously to prosecute a case or what type of plea deal to offer.
If you have been arrested for a crime, it is important to retain an experienced criminal attorney who can give you specific legal advice regarding your situation and can help you build your best defense. Call Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. at 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with an attorney that will zealously represent your interests and fight to protect your freedom.