For the average person, being arrested is not a situation they plan to find themselves in. Add to that the fact that, for the average person, being arrested is a frightening and highly emotional occurrence. Consequently, people frequently make mistakes during the time period following an arrest. Sometimes those mistakes have a significant negative impact on their subsequent prosecution. To help you prevent making one of those mistakes, a Murfreesboro criminal lawyer offers a list of dos and don’ts following an arrest.
- Don’t resist arrest. It can be a gut reaction, particularly if you are completely innocent. Resist that gut reaction though because any actions that could be interpreted as resisting arrest, including failing to pull over if in a vehicle or refusing to put your hands behind your back, will likely just add additional charges.
- Do act respectfully. Most law enforcement officers are only trying to do a very difficult job the best way they can. Acting disrespectfully doesn’t earn you any points and can make your situation worse.
- Don’t consent to a search. The search and seizure laws in the U.S. are fairly convoluted; however, they start from the premises that an officer must first obtain a warrant, based on probable cause, to conduct a search. There are exceptions to this basic rule, consent being the most commonly used exception. Don’t make it that easy for the police. Politely refuse to consent to a search of any kind. If they go ahead anyway, your attorney may be able to argue that the search was illegal.
- Do ask to see a search warrant. If the police show up claiming to have a search warrant, politely ask to see it and contact an attorney.
- Don’t rely on an offer made by the officer. Law enforcement officers will often offer you a deal-except they don’t have the authority to do that. They might promise to “go easy” on you if you give up someone else. The reality though, is that only the prosecuting attorney can make deals like that so do not doing anything to your detriment based on a promise by a police officer.
- Do remember that law enforcement officer can lie to you. Law enforcement officers are also allowed to be deceptive when investigating or questioning a suspect. They can, for example, tell you that your friend already admitted guilt when, in fact, the friend has done nothing of the sort.
- Don’t react to those lies. Remember that you cannot believe everything a law enforcement officer tells you. Wait until you have spoken to your attorney to comment or say anything.
- Do contact a responsible friend or family member once at the jail. It may be embarrassing to find yourself in jail; however, you need someone capable on the outside working to get you out as soon as possible. Swallow your pride and make that call.
- Don’t discuss your case with anyone. Anyone you speak to can be subpoenaed to testify against you at a trial. So don’t discuss your case with anyone. That includes your cellmates at the jail, your spouse, and even your mother. The only person you should discuss your case with is your attorney because that conversation is protected by the attorney-client privilege.
- Do contact a lawyer as soon as possible. No matter how minor you think your charges may be, you need to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. There are often non-judicial penalties that can be even more worrisome than the judicial penalties. You need to understand exactly where you stand and what your options are.
Contact a Murfreesboro Criminal Lawyer
If you have additional questions or concerns about how to handle an arrest, consult with an experienced Murfreesboro criminal lawyer at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby as soon as possible. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.