Being arrested is a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially if this is your first time getting arrested. Even for those who have previously faced criminal charges, defending against criminal allegations is no easy task. First and foremost, it is important to stay calm and don’t panic. When dealing with the police, the most common reaction is to simply explain the situation to officers in hopes of preventing the arrest. From an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the less you speak the better.
We have all heard them at one point or another. Whether it was in a movie, on TV or in real life our Miranda Rights are always the same. Yet for some reason NO ONE TAKES ADVANTAGE OF THEM! Miranda Rights are protected by the U.S. Constitution. More importantly, these are the rules a police officer must follow when placing you under arrest for a criminal offense. Just in case, Miranda Rights are as follows:
- You have the right to remain SILENT.
- Anything you say can (and will) be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to a criminal attorney.
- If you cannot afford a defense lawyer, one will be provided for you.
Next, a law enforcement officer is required to ask you whether or not you understand the rights as they were read to you. Finally, with these rights in mind, do you wish to continue being interrogated? The answer should ALWAYS be NO! Why? Refer back to number 1 on the list. Remember, it is always in your best interest to speak with a skilled defense attorney BEFORE you say anything to incriminate yourself.
Police officers are allowed to tell you whatever they feel is necessary to get information from you. Yes, that also means they can lie to you. Some of the most frequently used lies that officers use include:
- If you give me consent to search, you won’t be in as much trouble.
- We will help you out if you are honest with us now.
- If you don’t cooperate, the DA and Judge will be a lot tougher on you.
- This is conversation is off the record, just between you and me.
- Your friend already confessed and told us everything.
- We have an eyewitness that puts you at the scene.
- We found your fingerprints and DNA.
At this point, there is absolutely nothing that you can say that will change the fact that you are currently being arrested for a criminal charge. Don’t cave under pressure. Ask for a criminal defense lawyer and keep your mouth shut!
Don’t put off contacting a defense lawyer, even if your case is not filed or your first court date is weeks away. It is important to start putting together a solid defense as soon as possible. You cannot rely on the police or prosecutors to gather and preserve all the relevant evidence for your case. Additionally, evidence is not automatically saved without being requested. For example, most surveillance footage is only saved for a couple of days before it is erased.