Nobody wants to be arrested. But if you are ever in that situation, there are a few things that you should not do if you want to help yourself in the long run.
The first thing you need to remember is to be quiet! Talkative suspects usually only hurt themselves by saying things that make their cases harder to defend.
Do not try to convince the arresting officer of your innocence. He or she only needs to have reasonable belief that you have committed a crime in order to arrest you. Only a judge can decide your innocence.
Don’t give the officer any extra information. Answer questions with as little information as possible, as anything you say can be used against you in court.
And most of all, do not mouth off at the police; be as polite as possible. You may feel you were wrongly arrested, but the arresting officer can give you additional charges and make things more difficult for you with the prosecuting attorney if you are rude.
Don’t try to run
You probably won’t be able to outrun the police anyway. And if you do outrun them, you will have a warrant out for your arrest. Running will just cause you more trouble in the end. Furthermore, you may end up getting physically hurt in the process.
Don’t give police the permission to search
Do not give the police permission to search your car or home. If an officer asks, or if he orders you to hand over your keys, tell him that he does not have permission to search. If witnesses hear your statement, and the police conduct a search anyway, the collected evidence may be thrown out due to unlawful search and seizure.
Do not invite the police into your home. Once you give them permission to enter your private residence, they have the right to search. Instead, tell them that you are comfortable speaking to them at the door. They are only able to enter your home with your consent.
Additionally, if you are arrested outside of your home, do not agree to go back inside your house or apartment for any reason. The police will escort you inside, and they can then search your belongings.
What you CAN do
There is one thing you should do if you are arrested: Do what you are told! Be polite, follow simple directions and allow the law enforcement officer to do his or her job. Protect your rights when possible, but not at the expense of your case. The prosecution may go easier on a suspect who is polite and easy to handle.
Brett works with people arrested for various crimes. He started his own firm, Law Office of Brett A. Podolsky, located in Houston, TX.