By the time most people realize they need a criminal defense attorney, the fact is that they’ve already been arrested. Sadly, many people do something during their arrest that can hurt them legally. But if you know your rights ahead of time, you can know what not to do when you’re arrested. While everyone should know this information, it can be particularly useful to those who know they are under suspicion and are likely to be placed under arrest.
What NOT to do When You’re Arrested:
Don’t say anything, including lies: When you’re arrested, don’t ever lie to the police either as this can actually be a crime in itself even if you’re innocent of all other charges. Don’t try to convince the officer of your innocence or try to show him you’re cooperating either. And while it’s not illegal, try not to talk trash to the police, flip them off or threaten to sue because you don’t want to give them extra motivation to search you or file charges against you.
Don’t run or resist arrest: Just like lying to the police, both trying to flee from the police and resisting arrest can both open you up to charges even if you’re otherwise innocent. Even trying to swat the police officer’s hands away can sometimes result in exaggerated charges like assault on a police officer.
Don’t believe the police: Many people don’t know that the police have the right to lie to suspects even though it’s illegal for suspects to lie to the police. In fact, police often lie about evidence, about keeping things “off the record,” about tests they’re performing or have performed, and more. This is another reason to refuse to speak with the police without your attorney present.
Never consent to searches: Don’t let the police come into your home and never agree to let police search your property. While they have the right to search your vehicle without warrant, they cannot search other things such as your phone, so never unlock your phone for police.
While search and seizure laws can be complex, if they have the right to search your property and have grounds to do so, they’ll search your property without your permission. If not, they’ll either need to wait for a warrant, get your permission or be prepared for any evidence they uncover to be inadmissible. Try to avoid looking at places you do not want police to search in case they are able to legally search your property.
What to do When You’re Arrested:
Now that you know what not to do when you’re arrested, it’s important to remember these critical things you should do when you’re arrested: Stay calm. Be polite. Just like when you’ve been pulled over, you should answer questions about your identity, but otherwise say that you are invoking your Fifth Amendment right to silence and insist on speaking with a lawyer. After that, be quiet until your attorney arrives.
If you have been arrested for any crime, Peter M. Liss can help -even if you accidentally did one of the many things you should not do when you’re arrested. Please call (760) 643-4050 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Image by AlLes