If you are arrested, are you sure you know exactly what to do? If you are like most people, the honest answer is “no.” The less experience you have with the criminal justice system, the less likely it is that you know what to do if you suddenly find yourself in handcuffs. Alex Lane, a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix, offers the following tips to help you if you find yourself under arrest.
- Be cooperative. The time to argue about your arrest is not with officers who are placing you in handcuffs. Be cooperative and polite without offering any information. If you are transported to a police station, try to notify a friend or family member of your situation. Even better, try to have a witness to the arrest. However, no matter what the circumstances, never fight with police officers or resist arrest, even if you do not believe you are in the wrong.
- Be quiet. The number-one mistake most people make when they are arrested is to say too much. They often feel obligated to answer questions and “help” the police, especially if they are innocent. Many people have been taught to be helpful and polite in all situations, but when you are arrested that training can backfire. It is extremely important to remember that anything you say will be used by police to build a case against you. For example, if you are mistaken about a fact then try to correct yourself, the police may say you are lying. It is better to simply be quiet and avoid unnecessary conversation until you have a chance to talk to your attorney. You have the right to remain silent; use it.
- Be pro-active. You should understand your two most important rights: the right to an attorney and the right to avoid self-incrimination. Begin asking for your attorney as soon as the police begin questioning you, even before you are arrested. Other than your name and identifying information, your response to any police questions should be, “I will let my attorney talk to you about that.” If the police lock you in a cell for some time before allowing you to make a phone call, do not worry; you must be allowed to contact an attorney. However, the police may try to wear you down by holding you for a period of time. Be patient; you will be allowed to call a lawyer.
Alex Lane and his staff are ready to help you if you have been arrested. Contact us immediately any time the police take you into custody for any reason.