Having the police show up at your home or stop your in a public place is always a stressful time. Although you will probably be scared or angry, it’s important to stay calm and make sure that you don’t get yourself further into trouble. There are some things you can do to make the process go as smoothly as possible.
If the police have come to arrest you, don’t resist in any way . The trick, which admittedly might be difficult, is to stay calm at all times during the arrest process. Make sure the police can see your hands, don’t put your hands on a police officer and don’t try to run. If it’s feasible, have people observe what’s happening at an unobtrusive distance.
Be Careful What You Say
First, when you’re arrested on criminal charges you have the right to remain silent. Therefore, you shouldn’t make any statements to the police. The exceptions are telling the police your name, address, social security number, the name of a family member, the name of your lawyer if you have one and other relevant information. Statements can be held against you later on in court. This is true even if you’ve been read your Miranda warning.
By the way, not only should you refrain from making statements to the police, but you should be wary about what you say over the phone or to anyone else while you’re in custody. Even these overheard statements can be used against you in court. It’s best to avoid answering any questions about the crime or about your innocence until you have been appointed a lawyer.
If you decide to give a statement, tell the truth as you perceive it. It’s against the law to lie to a policeman. However, you should know that it’s not against the law for a policeman to lie to you.
If There’s A Warrant For Your Arrest, Ask to See It
If a warrant has been taken out against you, you have the right to see it. Your name should be on it as should the charges that are being brought against you. Stay calm and don’t be arrogant or pushy when you ask them to show you the warrant. Even if they don’t show you, if they are able to show you badges and prove they are real police, do as they say.
Hire A Lawyer
Since you will be allowed to make at least one phone call, you should find a lawyer if you are facing criminal charges. If you don’t think you can afford a lawyer, the court will appoint a lawyer for you. Once a lawyer is hired, never hesitate to ask him or her to explain anything that you don’t understand in terms a layperson can understand. You should also consult with your lawyer before you enter a plea at your arraignment.
Get the name and badge number of the officer or officers who arrested you. You have the right to do this.
Get An Interpreter
If you don’t speak English well, you have the right to an interpreter.
Getting arrested is nothing if not stressful. Taking the above advice can make the process go just a bit more smoothly. Whether you have committed a crime or not, it’s important to listen to police and go along with the process until you can prove that you are not guilty.