In 2015, law enforcement officers made 10,797,088 arrests. This number is absolutely staggering. Many of these did not even commit a crime. Even the innocent need to know what to do after they have arrested. The cops try and do their best, and in some cases, they do not know the whole story. They will try to get something out of you, and that something may not always be in your favor.
As part of our commitment to you, we have prepared a list of mistakes people make after they have been arrested.
- Not Getting a Lawyer
This is the biggest one. Cops are given tremendous berth when they question suspects. They are not allowed to torture, drug, or threaten a suspect. Police are permitted to do everything else. That means when you are under interrogation, they can mislead you, exaggerate to you, and directly lie to you. These are considered non-coercive. The police almost always say it will be better if you just come clean. This is rarely the case.
A lawyer knows these tricks, and knows how to fight against them. Quite a few people think they can explain their actions, justify their actions, or otherwise cooperate with the police in a way that helps them. Many facts that you may not find important have the potential to be incredibly harmful to you and your case. An experienced lawyer will ensure that you do not sink your own case.
It is unwise for people to defend themselves during a trial. Very few people know what evidence would be good for proving their case, let alone how to admit items into evidence. There are many procedural rules that must be followed strictly. Attorneys know these like the backs of their hands, and can avoid the smaller mistakes which can culminate into a guilty verdict.
- Agreeing to a Warrantless Search
Even if you have been arrested, you still have rights. The Fourth Amendment of the Bill of Rights gives you some protection, but there are a few searches the police can perform. For example, police can perform a protective sweep, if they think their lives are in danger. They may also search to stop the destruction of evidence.
There must be a spatial relationship between the place of arrest and the search. If you got arrested in a library, they cannot search your home without a warrant. Generally, it is not a good idea to let the police search wherever they want. When you do not want police to search something, make sure you let them know.
- Talking with Friends and Family Too Much
Your family members can be subpoenaed. Once they have been subpoenaed, they cannot lie to police. The best way to limit their exposure to the arduous process of dealing with the police is to tell them only limited info. You should tell them what you can, but ensure that you do not say too much. Often, friends and family may try to offer advice. They might not necessarily know the law to its full extent, and provide you the wrong advice.
- Talking to the Complaining Witness
In criminal cases, the complaining witness cannot drop any charges. When you have charges against you, only the state can drop the charges. Not affecting anything is the best outcome of talking to the complaining witness. In some cases, you can have the additional charge of Tampering with the Witness, or could be violating a restraining order. In all cases, it is a bad idea. Chances are, you cannot talk your way out of it with just the complaining witness.
If you have any questions about the law, do not hesitate to contact us. Our highly-professional, tenacious, and resourceful team will work hard to ensure that you have the best outcome possible.