Lights and sirens are flashing. You’re searched and handcuffed. Then you are put in the back of a police vehicle and brought to the nearest police station. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you might feel very helpless, but there are some things you can do to help your case.
#1 First of all, it doesn’t matter if the police officer made a mistake, remain calm and cooperate. Lack of cooperation may lead to further charges of resisting arrest which will make your case even more complicated. Resisting arrest is defined as willfully resisting, delaying, or obstructing an officer or EMT while the officer or EMT is engaged in the performance of his/her duties. Fleeing a police officer who is attempting to arrest or detain you, threatening the officer while he/she is arresting you, giving the officer a fake name or identification card, or not allowing the officer to handcuff you or place you in the police vehicle are all examples of resisting arrest. The best thing you can do in this type of situation is to just cooperate and contact your lawyer immediately.
#2 Be polite and respectful to the officers. Your words and actions may be used in court to prove your innocence or guilt. Remember, fighting with the police officers will not help. Winning in court is your only hope. Therefore, as soon as the officers approach, conduct yourself in a polite, responsible manner so that your actions may be used in court to help your case.
#3 Never assume that you can talk your way out of an arrest. Silence is your best defense. Any attempts to explain yourself may be used to hurt your case in court. Police do not have the authority to drop charges against you, negotiate a plea bargain, or decide your innocence or guilt.
#4 If the police officers do start asking you questions, the only information you should provide to them is your name, address, and a phone number of an immediate family member. Any other information you give them can only hurt you. The fifth amendment gives you the right to remain silent. During this time, you should also exercise your right to ask for a lawyer. If the police continue to question you, politely state your fifth amendment right and then remain silent until your lawyer arrives. If there are other parties involved, don’t discuss the incident with them either. Keep in mind that many police cars as well as certain parts of the police station may have cameras. Therefore, even if a police officer is not around, a private conversation with another party involved in the incident may be recorded and the recording used in court to convict you. Once you have been arrested, you will be escorted to the police station. You have a right to make one phone call. Use this phone call to get in touch with a family member or a lawyer. Try to get the name and badge numbers of the arresting officer and other officers that you come in contact with. You have the right to request this information so that you can have as much information to provide your lawyer. If you can’t remember anything else from this article, try to remember two things. You have the right to remain silent, and you have the right to request legal counsel. Knowing these two steps will go a long way in helping you.