If you find yourself being arrested by the police, it’s easy to become stressed and overwhelmed. In this frantic state, particularly if you have never been arrested before, you could very easily make a mistake that can significantly harm your case and impact your ability to obtain a successful outcome. And the worst part, you may not even recognize that you made this mistake. Here are three tips for handing your arrest smoothly without jeopardizing or placing your case at risk.
Don’t Resist Arrest
Are you 100% innocent? Do you feel as though your arrest is completely unwarranted? It doesn’t matter. Do not resist your arrest. Do not run away, fight, argue with the officers, or attempt to harm them in any way. Resisting arrest is a criminally-punishable offense, which will land you behind bars even if you are entirely innocent of the crime of which you were initially accused and arrested. Likewise, those who resist arrest are usually treated with a lot less respect from the police. Cooperate, for now, remember these tips, and save the fight for the courtroom where you have an attorney by your side to help you through it.
You Have the Right to Remain Silent, Use It
As a U.S. citizen, you have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer any questions until you have an attorney present. It’s strongly suggested that you utilize this right to the fullest extent. Once police read you your Miranda rights (which begin with “you have the right to remain silent”) anything you say becomes admissible in court and will be twisted and used against you. The best way to avoid this is to simply say nothing at all until you have experienced counsel present to help you through any questioning sessions. If you wish to have an attorney present, law enforcement must allow you to contact one before they may continue questioning you.
You May Refuse a Search
The Fourth Amendment also gives you the right to privacy of your possessions, whether they are on your person, in your car, or in your home. Therefore, if you have not been placed under arrest, law enforcement may not search you without either obtaining a search warrant from a judge or your consent. This means you have the right to refuse to allow the police to search you, and it’s strongly advised that you exercise it. If you give the police consent, any evidence against you they may obtain is admissible in court and will be used against you. If police do not have cause to arrest you and you refuse the search, then they must drop the matter.
The most important step to take after your arrest is to retain the services of an experienced Jonesboro criminal defense lawyer to guide you through your case. The Law Office of Paul Ford are dedicated to protecting individuals from the harshness of the criminal justice system. We believe that laws exist to protect us all, including those who are wrongly facing criminal accusations and a prosecutor seeking maximum possible penalties. Let us put our experience and knowledge to work for you and fight to protect your rights.
If you are facing criminal charges in Jonesboro, call Ford & Cook, PLC today at 870.853.3621 to schedule your initial consultation.