Under Arrest or Investigation? Stop Talking to the Police
If you’ve been arrested or you are being investigated by authorities, then exercise your constitutional right not to incriminate yourself and say nothing. Police officers are paid to investigate crimes, so they are asking you questions for a reason – this is their job.
Stop Talking to the PoliceYou have a constitutional right not to incriminate yourself which is just a fancy way of saying that you don’t have to tattle on yourself. Use this right! Say nothing and nicely advise the police officer, trooper, or deputy that you do not wish to say anything. Don’t be misled if the police ask you to drive to the station, “just to talk,” – what you say can and will be used against you.
If you are arrested, then say nothing, and don’t argue with the arresting officer. They are just doing their job, and you will not accomplish anything by arguing with the officer. Except for the most serious “capital” crimes, a bond should be available, and it is generally easy to contact a bondsman from most jails (bondsmen generally have their offices near jails). Post your bond and hire an attorney.
If there is not a bond, use your first opportunity to contact family or friends to hire an attorney. Many attorneys will visit you in jail, particularly if friends or family on the outside are willing to help you hire the attorney.
Hire an AttorneyOnce you are out of jail, follow the conditions of your bond, stay out of trouble, hire an attorney, and cooperate with your attorney. Most everything you tell your attorney is confidential. There are only a few rare instances where an attorney must divulge his client confidences, and these generally involve knowledge of a future crime or if someone wishes to lie to a court purposely.
As soon as you get out of jail, get a game plan with your attorney, and start collecting whatever information is necessary for your defense. It might be receipts showing that you did not steal something, perhaps it is evidence of your health condition or countless other items. In general, the sooner you start your investigation, the better your attorney can mount a successful defense of the charges against you. All of us are more prone to forget things and misplace items as time goes on.
Next StepsAlways remember, being charged with a crime and getting convicted are two very different things. With the right strategy, a charge can be successfully defended, your name cleared, and you can get on with your life.