First off, the best advice I can give anyone is this: DON’T TALK TO LAW ENFORCEMENT. You will not be able to talk yourself out of getting arrested or taken to jail, and I promise, your statement will hurt your case. I have worked as a criminal defense attorney for 15 years and I can count on one hand the number of clients who gave statements that later helped their case. I have boxes of closed files representing the scores of clients who thought they were smart enough to ignore this bit of age-old advice… and got slammed. Remember, giving an excuse for why you did something wrong is exactly the same as admitting that you did something wrong. It’s called a confession!
- Be courteous and cooperative, and politely decline to answer question. You DO have the right to remain silent. That’s not just something they say on T.V.
- Don’t act like you know more about your rights than the cop does (even if you do), and don’t say things like “I know what my rights are”. That just makes cops bristle. If you know you have the right to be quiet, just be quiet.
- You have the right to know what you are being arrested for, but again a simple polite question will do the trick. If you don’t get the answer, saying something like “I have the right to know what I am being arrested for, and I demand to know” will probably get you nowhere. If you don’t get the answer, don’t force it – you will know the answer soon enough.
It is important to get a qualified criminal defense attorney involved as soon as possible after arrest to help protect the your rights, as well as to help friends and loved ones navigate the complexities of post-arrest court proceedings and the procedures associated with posting bail.
The first thing you will want to do if you get arrested is get out of jail. Click here to find out HOW I CAN HELP.