No one ever expects to get arrested. Whether you’re pulled over for a DUI or find yourself involved in some other crime, your future can be heavily impacted by what happens when you’re arrested. While some of this advice might seem contrary to your natural instinct or character, believe us when we say it will help you out in the long-term.
What You SHOULD Do
If you’re arrested – even if you feel you’ve done nothing wrong – it’s absolutely critical that you’re polite and courteous to the police. Adrenaline and anger can make you say or do things that look threatening or incriminating, so don’t give a cop any reason to assume the worst. Do your best to act polite and willing to cooperate.
As for the police officer’s name and badge number (or simply read it off his or her badge). Make a point to remember the officer’s face or any distinguishable characteristics – you may need to identify him or her at a later date.
ALWAYS demand the right to have an attorney present before you answer any questions for the police. We can’t ever stress this enough, so if you remember one thing from this post, let it be THIS!
If you’re stopped in your car, comply with the police officer’s request to see your driver’s license and vehicle registration.
Ask the officer if you are, in fact, under arrest. If he or she says yes, you have the right to know why you’ve been arrested, so exercise that right and ask (but remember that you should have an attorney present before you start making claims or defending yourself).
Write down everything that happened during the arrest (as soon as you’re able). Even seemingly trivial actions could be of importance down the line.
If you’re ever physically injured by a police officer, it’s critical that you get medical attention as soon as possible – and that you tell those providers what caused your injury. Take photographs and write down everything that happened during the arrest.
Always remember that you never, ever, need to answer any question a police officer asks you. Even seemingly “harmless” questions could come back to haunt you depending on how you respond. The bottom line: LAWYER UP BEFORE YOU SPEAK!
What You SHOULDN’T Do
If you’re arrested, don’t go offering up information to the police. Even if you think what you say will get you “off the hook,” don’t do it.
Don’t take the officers’ word that they have a search warrant. Ask to see any warrant they claim to have before you comply with a search.
Don’t put your hands anywhere the police can’t see them.
Never run away from a police officer when one is approaching. Running is, as you can imagine, very suspicious to police, and it could give them reason to assume you’re guilty or hiding something.
Don’t interfere with police proceedings. You could actually face additional criminal charges for this.
Don’t lose your temper, or get into an argument with police.
Don’t speak to the police before your attorney arrives!
If your attorney has advised you to remain silent, don’t be goaded into saying something.
Don’t agree to participate in a line-up without your attorney there.
Don’t lie to your attorney; he or she can only help when they get the full, unabridged story.
Don’t resist an arrest. You may be innocent, but now is not the time to put up a fight. Resisting arrest can actually wind up making you face additional charges.
Have you been arrested? It’s not too late to get the expert criminal defense representation you need. And if you ever are arrested (God forbid), always remember that Gold Spike Legal is ready to help you out.