Hopefully you’ll never get arrested, but if you do it can be a very difficult experience, but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world for you. In this article are some tips to help prevent you from saying or doing something that could possibly be used against you later down the road.
The Golden Rule: Don’t Say Anything to The Police
As obvious as this may seem, believe it or not, we tend to do things we shouldn’t when we start to panic. If a police officer puts you in handcuffs and reads you your miranda rights, then don’t say anything. If you do decide to say something, then make sure the only thing you say is that you are invoking your right to remain silent and you would like your attorney present before making any additional statements.
If you are placed under arrest, please also remember to keep your emotions in check. This is extremely important and will be discussed later on in this article. Also be sure not to make any offensive gestures of any kind either. When you are in the custody of police, everything is documented.
If You Get Arrested, it Doesn’t Mean You’re Guilty
Many people often times believe that a person who is arrested is automatically guilty. We can assure you that this is most definitely not the case. In fact, over 2,095 inmates have been wrongfully convicted in the United States since 1989. This is just people who have faced conviction, arrests happen far more often!
The Difference Between Being Arrested and Being Guilty of a Crime
To clear things up for those of you who still aren’t sure the difference between the two, let me explain…
Being arrested for a crime just means that someone thinks you committed an illegal act and police suspect you of committing that act.
You are only considered guilty of a crime after you have went to court and either pleaded guilty, or you were convicted by a jury of your peers in a criminal trial.
There are major differences between the two that leads me back to the first point….. Never say anything to the cops. Many police officers seem like nice people and most probably are when they are not on the job, but it is their job to catch criminals i.e. you.
The police may try to persuade you to speak up or give a confession to make their job a little easier, even if that means they have to act like your friend until they put you in a cell and slam the door. Don’t take the bait.
NEVER Give a Written or Verbal Confession
This also points back to the original statement as well, but you should pay even closer to this next piece of advice, because it could end up saving you from getting convicted, or worse, wrongfully convicted of a crime you didn’t commit.
When you are first detained and brought into a police station for booking, an officer might ask you if you would like to make a written confession. Do not comply. Remember, you have rights, and one of those rights is that you can remain silent.
If officers persist on questioning you after you have invoked your right to remain silent, you have declined to provide a written confession, and demanded a lawyer then keep a mental note of the situation because it could be used to your advantage.
Police officers are not allowed to question you after you have chosen to stay silent and demanded a lawyer. There are plenty of rules and regulations that they must abide by and if they don’t, then they could run into trouble themselves.
What is a Coerced Confession?
If you read the fifth amendment, it states that people suspected of crimes cannot be forced to incriminate themselves. That means if a police officer forces you in some way, shape or form, to confess, then that police officer just violated the law and your confession may not be admissible in court.
In the past many officers have been accused, tried, and convicted of obtaining false confessions by use of verbal threats, physical threats, or through persistent questioning after a suspect has made his or her choice to remain silent and demanded an attorney. If this happens to you, then please let your attorney know and they will know how to properly deal with the situation.
Ignore Threats of Jail or Prison Time
This next section is all about police interrogation tactics and they are used to try and put pressure on individuals to give up information about suspected crimes.
If you are ever involved in a police interrogation, then you might be subject to a whole host of techniques that will try to get you to spill your guts. Whatever you do, don’t fall for it. One of the most common techniques in police interrogation is verbal threats and intimidation. If an officer or detective becomes tired of your silence, then they may tell you that you are going to do a lengthy jail or prison term. However, they aren’t the judge; nor are they a jury, so don’t take the bait
Remember one of the first things I told you to do earlier in this article? Ask for your attorney or if you don’t have one, kindly state that you would like an attorney present before being asked any additional questions.
Do Not Overreact When Dealing With The Police
This is another piece of helpful advice that might help you avoid unnecessary jail time or a physical conflict with an officer. If a police officer confronts you or states that you are being placed under arrest, remember to stay calm and call your attorney the first chance you get.
Many people who have tried to become aggressive while dealing with the police have either received additional charges for their undesirable actions, or they have gotten physically injured because the officer(s) thought physical force was necessary.
Believe it or not, police brutality is a real problem here in the United States and it happens a lot more often than you might think. It’s true that it is unlikely that you will become a victim of police brutality, but it happens more to individuals who become defiant or act out during their confrontation with officers.
I hope this article has helped inform you of your rights and what you should do if for some reason, you are unfortunately arrested and accused of a crime.