Getting arrested is a scary experience. But what’s even scarier is committing crucial mistakes after being taken into police custody. Your actions during and after the arrest can have a serious impact on your defense if you go to trial.
It’s natural to panic when you find yourself in this situation. A clear head, presence of mind, and knowing the biggest mistakes that people make after being arrested can go a long way to not make matters worse.
Admitting a crime
Under the Constitution, you have a right against self-incrimination. If an officer asks you if you have been drinking while driving, you do not have to answer the question. The law allows the police to lie in order to get you to admit to a crime. Do not fall for that. When arrested, just keep quiet. Remember, police are trained interrogators. They are not your friend and they are not trying to help you. They are trying to get you to admit to a crime.
Trying to explain
Suspects who feel that they have been wrongly arrested will often babble even before the police could ask any questions. Resist the temptation to explain yourself and don’t try to convince the police that you are innocent.
Whatever you say during the arrest can be used against you in court later. Never speak without an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Running and resisting arrest
If you are arrested and you run or resist, evading that arrest may be an altogether different crime added to your charges. If you push an officer away, that could be another offense. Assaulting an officer can upgrade a simple misdemeanor to a felony.
Speaking without the presence of a lawyer
If you are arrested but you know you are innocent, you might think that talking to the police is your best course of action. That’s a mistake. When you speak to law enforcement officers without the assistance of a lawyer, you could hurt your case and get yourself into more trouble.
Waiting too long to hire an attorney
Needing lawyers only when you get to court is a total misconception. From the moment you are arrested or even before you are released on bail, you must contact a defense attorney. Your lawyer will go over the facts of the case with you and provide you with appropriate counsel. Evidence can also get lost the longer you wait to hire an attorney.
Hiring the cheapest attorney
Do not hire a lawyer based on fees alone. If affordability is your primary requirement, you might end up hiring poor representation. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Having just been arrested, you don’t want to put your future in the hands of someone who cannot defend you adequately. Perform due diligence and hire the best criminal defense lawyer that you can. You want an attorney who is diligent, experienced in your particular case, and reasonably priced.
If you are not satisfied with how your lawyer is handling your case, you are free to get other legal advice.
If you fight the charges against you, you can win. If you plead guilty, then you already gave up your right to challenge your arrest.
Usually, the prosecutor will make an offer that will seem to be an easy way out. Do not take this offer without counsel. Give your lawyer a chance to challenge the legal action and make the prosecutor prove its case against you.
Stress and anxiety can make people commit mistakes after being arrested. Again, do not panic. Do not speak. Call Piotrowski Law right away.