Being arrested might seem like your worst nightmare. This experience can be frightening, confusing, and downright overwhelming. But the reality is that it happens more than you might think. Every year, approximately 80,000 American citizens are arrested for sex crimes like solicitation, and nearly 1.5 million people are arrested annually for DUII allegations. No matter the reasons for your arrest, it’s important to keep a cool head and avoid the following mistakes.
If you’re arrested, don’t…
- Resist or run away: It’s understandable that your “fight or flight” instinct would kick in if you’re about to be handcuffed. But you’ll make things substantially worse if you resist or try to run. Even if you’re innocent of the crimes of which you’re accused, resisting arrest could tack on additional charges if your case goes to trial. In some instances, this could be used against you to show your guilt. You could even put your life in danger. Just remember that you will never make things better by trying to escape.
- Consent to a search: Often, this mistake happens when citizens aren’t aware of their rights. You do not have to consent to the search of your home or car. Furthermore, you should not consent to this; even if you think you have nothing to hide, it’s possible an officer could find something incriminating to use against you. But by stating loudly and clearly that you do not consent to a search, your attorneys will be able to have any evidence secured from an unlawful search thrown out. If you were to consent, however, anything police find might be fair game.
- Be disrespectful: Whether you have a problem with the police or want to proclaim your innocence, you need to keep your behavior in check. Understandably, you might be angry or upset during or following your arrest. But you need to keep a handle on those emotions and refrain from being rude, inflammatory, or disrespectful to the police and anyone else with whom you might come into contact. Instead, be cooperative and courteous (without volunteering any information that could be used to your detriment — more on that in a moment). It may help if you realize that the police officers are simply doing their jobs. Arguing with them won’t do you any good. While you’re in custody and under supervision, be quiet and congenial as a rule.
- Speak without an attorney present: Remember that first part of the Miranda warning about having the right to remain silent? You’ll want to keep that in mind before, during, and after your arrest. No matter how long you wait for an attorney or what a police officer tries to convince you to talk to them about, simply refuse to answer any questions without the presence of an attorney from your law firm of choice. The police may try to persuade you that clearing up some confusion will help get the process over with more quickly. Don’t believe that. It would make their jobs easier, to be sure, but it’s definitely not going to be beneficial to you. Request to place a call to your law firm and decline to answer any questions until your lawyer has arrived.
Being arrested is never a pleasant experience. But as long as you have help from a reputable law firm and avoid making the aforementioned mistakes, the process will likely go much more smoothly. To learn more, please contact our law firm today.