What To Do If: DO's and DON'Ts of being arrested or are wanted or are asked to allow a seach.
What should you do if the police are looking for you? What happens when you get arrested? What should you do? What should you not do?
When you are being arrestedIf you have the unfortunate occasion to be arrested DO NOT mouth off to the police. Saying things like
" I know my rights" or " my cousin is a lawyer" or " I'm going to sue you" will not get you very far with the police. Be respectful - and I hate using this term - but police use it all the time - comply - with their directions. This having been said - be polite and ask for a lawyer. Say nothing further.
You DO NOT have to Speak with the Police ( nor should you).Once you are placed into custody - you have the right to remain silent. The police only have to
" read you your rights" if they wish to question you - commonly known as Reading or Giving you your Miranda rights.
As a part of those rights you do not have to answer or speak to the police - you will also be told that if you cannot afford an attorney - one will be provided or appointed. Remember - you are now in custody and anything you say can and will be used against you. Trust me - you are not going to be able to talk yourself out of the situation you are in.
Don't answer any questions or make any statements about your case to the police or the prosecutor.
Don't allow yourself to be videotaped. If they turn on the video machine and start to talk to you - again be respectful and simply say " I want an attorney" and say no more.
DO NOT CONFESS
The police know how to get confessions from people in custody.
They can use deceptive ways to get a confession. Saying things like: "things will go easier", or " you co-defendant just ratted you out "(even if none of it is true) - are considered examples of good police work, and a judge may very well allow the prosecution use your statement against you.
If you have a lawyer before you get arrested, she or he can find out if the police want to question you as a witness or a suspect.
If you're a suspect, your lawyer can tell the police that s/he doesn't want you questioned. If they question you after that, they won't be able to use your statements against you, unless they can prove that you blurted out a confession without being asked any questions.
Your silence can't be used against you, but it's very hard to defend you if you've made a confession or an admission. You may think that by telling the police that you were at the scene of the crime but didn't do anything - gets you off the hook - when in fact it may be an admission to an element of the crime.
If you're in jail, be careful what you say about your case to other inmates. You never know when one of them will try to work out their own situation by becoming a witness against you. THE BEST advice is ONLY speak to your attorney about the case - no one else can help you - and while it may make you feel good to talk to someone else who is locked -up - DON'T.
What to do if you know the police are looking for you. SURRENDERING" Why surrender" you ask.
If you're a suspect in a crime, your lawyer can arrange for you to surrender to the police.
If the police intend to arrest you, by surrendering, you are showing the court that you to took this matter seriously - hired an attorney to turn you in - and as a result that you are responsible and a good candidate for either the court setting low bail/bond or better yet "releasing you on your own recognizance" - often referred to as being R.O.R.'d. By surrendering, you show that you're likely to return to court without having high bail set.
By doing this - you provide your lawyer with the ability to tell the judge/court at arraignment that you knew the police were looking for you, had the chance to run, but didn't. Surrendering won't guarantee low bail, but it gives you a better shot.
Some other DO's and DON'Ts ( mostly DON'TsDo not give consent to a search of your home, or car or person. As an example - the police may ask to come in and search your home - JUST SAY NO and do not allow them inside. If they want to search - they can go and get a warrant.
Do not consent to be placed in a line-up. If the police intend to put you in a line-up, ask to have a lawyer there. Your attorney can observe what takes place, take notes and seek to to make sure the lineup is conducted fairly. As an example your attorney can help you decide the best place for you to be situated in the line-up to reduce the chance of you being picked out.
Your attorney can make sure the police don't do anything improper, like suggesting in some way that the witness pick you out.
Or let's say you get pulled over in your car and the officer says "do you know why I pulled you over?" Do Not answer - simply say " No, I do not". Let them tell you why and then DO NOT debate with them - you will not win that argument. If you are issued a ticket - take it and go on your way. If, for some reason you are arrested ....
DON'T physically resist, and tell the police you want a lawyer.