The police arrested Leo for disorderly conduct one night. Leo disagreed with everything the police were saying but sat quietly until they reached the police station. His friend, Rob, was picked up during the same incident, but his experience was vastly different – and not in a good way. Knowing what to do if you get arrested can make the difference between dismissed charges and a jail term.
Understand the Process
How the police handle your arrest depends on many factors. In some situations, officers may need to deal with victims, take statements from witnesses, or call for backup. However, you can consider yourself arrested once a police officer puts you in handcuffs and recites Miranda rights.
You should be polite but wary at all times. If the police officer is wrong, it’s safer to settle things in a well-lit office with an attorney by your side than trying to fight about it at the scene.
In the example above, Leo waited at the police station until his attorney arrived. However, Rob resisted the police so much that he was charged with additional crimes. Some of the comments he yelled at the officers were used against him at trial.
How to Behave at the Scene and the Station
Remember that the police department is not there to represent your best interests. Officers and detectives are permitted to lie to you and make promises they don’t intend to honor. Sometimes they will isolate people to increase their discomfort or interrogate them for hours.
The most important thing to remember if you get arrested is that you should not talk to the officers without an attorney by your side.
Our friends Leo and Rob had very different experiences here also. Leo was polite but refused to talk. Rob chatted about his case to everyone from the desk clerk to the guy sitting next to him in the drunk tank. His words gave the police officers and prosecutors additional evidence against him.
Two VIP Words, One Meaning
Lawyer. Attorney. One of these two words should be the first thing you clearly and strongly state to the police. As soon as you ask for a lawyer, the police must stop questioning you. However, it’s also important that you ‘remain silent’ while waiting for your attorney. Talking to the police or asking certain questions could open the door for the police to resume their interrogation. Statements that you make can be held against you and may be used to find further evidence.
Leo’s attorney was able to get a good resolution for him. Rob’s attorney found it difficult to negotiate with prosecutors due to Rob’s behavior.
If You Are Arrested, You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
Don’t think that you are smarter than the cops or that you can handle your criminal charges by yourself. It would be best if you had advice from someone who understands the system.
Call Attorney Sarah Cho at (425) 747-0582 for a free consultation. She has helped many clients successfully navigate the criminal court system. From her office located in Bellevue, Washington, Ms. Cho represents clients throughout the Seattle area.
The sooner you call, the faster we can help!