Every day, people are arrested. The majority of them make one or more of several mistakes that make their situation worse. Some of these reactions are completely understandable. Others, however, make no sense at all. No one plans to be arrested, but it’s possible to be arrested just for being in the wrong place and the wrong time. Share this with everyone you know. It may be useful for a lot of people.
What TO Do: Listen to the officer, and do as you are told.
What NOT To Do:
- Don’t talk. Don’t say anything, not to the arresting officer, not to his partner, not to the cop who processes you at the jail, and not to the prosecutor. You have the right to remain silent. Make use of that right. Don’t try to convince anyone that you are innocent. Why? Because all the officers hear all day long is, “I’m innocent!” “You shouldn’t arrest me!” and “I shouldn’t be in jail!” Everyone protests it, and it doesn’t generally matter to the officers if you’re guilty or innocent. It’s not his or her job to judge that. Most of the time, when people talk to cops, they say something that ends up making their situation worse. Keep quiet. The only thing you should be saying is, “I want a lawyer.”
- Don’t run. As said above, listen to the officer who is arresting you and follow his instructions. DO NOT RUN. If you do, you will face more charges, and if the case ends up going to trial, the prosecutor could be allowed to tell the jury that you ran because you are guilty and that innocent people don’t run. In addition, cops get suspicious that people who run have weapons, and may be quick to draw their own.
- Don’t resist arrest. Do not, under any circumstances, touch the officer. Do what he says. Fight your case in court; don’t fight the cops, because you will lose. Sometimes, people try to swat an officer’s hands away or bump him to get him to move away. Frequently, this is over-reported by the cop as hitting, which then becomes assault. It turns your minor misdemeanor into a felony.
- Don’t believe the police. Police officers lie. Cops are allowed to lie to you to get you to admit to doing something. They’re trained to do it. The Reid Technique is where you lie about evidence—videotape or DNA or witnesses or fingerprints. Often, the cops will separate two friends and convince one that the other told on him (“ratted” him out.) Now, the first guy is mad and tells on the second guy. Cops and detectives will also tell you that it will be easier for you if you just talk now, but it’s a lie. Do not believe it. You will be making it easier for the cops to win their case.
- Don’t allow a search. Police are not allowed to search without your consent. If you are asked, deny permission and make sure you tell all witnesses that the police do not have permission to search. If they do it anyway, that evidence can be tossed out in a trial. Plus, if you give consent, and they find something you didn’t know was there or that a friend placed there, like marijuana, it could lead to additional charges.
- Don’t look at places that you don’t want the cops looking at. Cops are trained to watch you, your reactions, and what you do and then react to you. Many people look at areas they don’t want police to look, because they are nervous and scared. Don’t answer questions and don’t react to the search. Look down and keep quiet.
- Don’t “talk smack” to the police. It doesn’t matter who you and your connections are, nor does it matter if you were wrongly arrested and the true culprit is standing beside you. Don’t smack talk! This is another thing cops hear all day long. They are immune. Cops are allowed to add charges and change charges from misdemeanors to felonies. They will also speak to the prosecutor as part of the process. Don’t make it harder on yourself.
- Don’t allow police inside your home if they come, and don’t step outside to talk to them. Make it clear to them that they are not allowed in. Say things like, “You need a search warrant to enter my house.” or “No, you can’t come in.” or “I’m good talking right here.” If they come back, your lawyer can arrange for you to turn yourself in if it becomes necessary. Note that if the cops are positive you have committed a felony, they will come in anyway. They generally don’t need an arrest warrant for that.
- Don’t accept an offer to go back inside your home for anything, if you are outside and have been arrested. They’ll be all nice to you, and give you a reason to go in, escort you in, and then start tearing into the house to search it. Don’t let them secure your car, either. Keep in mind that they’re lying to you. They don’t care if you’re cold or need to talk to your wife.
- Again, don’t talk. You would be amazed at the number of people who think they can convince the cops that they’re innocent. The cops don’t care. It’s not their job to decide your guilt or innocence. Save your breath. Ask for an attorney and tell him.
Following these simple rules will mean the preservation of your rights and a better outcome for your case.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a crime in or around the city of Pittsburgh, you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Logue Criminal Defense team serves Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas, including West Virginia and Ohio. To get in touch and schedule a free initial consultation with an experienced Pittsburgh Criminal Defense lawyer from Logue Law Group, call us today at (412) 612-2210 or (412) 612-2210. Or, you can contact us online.
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