When you are arrested please don’t talk
Did you think that you could breeze through your whole life without ever getting arrested for anything? Well perhaps you can, some people manage to do it. But what about all the thousands upon thousands of people that get arrested every day. You can get arrested for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time or you might be in some way connected to a crime and the cops think that they have just cause to arrest you. You could even have an active arrest warrant for not turning up in court or not paying fines or something. You can even get an arrest warrant if someone steals your identity and uses it for criminal activity. It does happen and it is becoming increasingly common.
Has your car blown a tail light since you checked them last? You can get stopped for that and a zillion other things that allow the cops to stop and search your car and check for any arrest warrants that you might have. If they find something that you should not have in your car like drugs or firearms then you are pretty likely to get arrested. They won’t listen to any arguments that the property belonged to your friends who you had given a lift to. You are responsible, you get arrested and the cop get the points to put towards his career.
Even if you somehow manage to avoid arrest all your life it is still a good idea to know what to do when you do get arrested. Chance favors the prepared mind they say and it is very true. If you are prepared for the little tests that life throws at you then you are much more likely to end up passing with flying colors. So the first thing to remember when the police arrest you is to shut up. Tell them your name and address and then don’t say anything else. Be courteous and polite but don’t volunteer any information because you may find that what you do say is used against you in court. The cops are not your friends in this conversation. Do not treat them as if they are.
Say only what you absolutely need to then shut up
“Anything you say may be used in evidence against you”. This is a warning that you should take very seriously. If what you say is going to be used to convict you then why would you want to say anything? It would be stupid to do that right?
If you think that it’s bad in America just look at what advice the police give you in the UK when you get arrested. They don’t tell you that they are going to use your words against you. Instead, they tell you that if you don’t say anything then you will not be able to rely on the facts in court. This is just a lie and a clever coercion technique to get you to incriminate yourself. Don’t fall into this trap, keep your mouth shut and let the police search for the information by themselves.
A good lawyer can be a good investment
Lawyers can be expensive enough to make your eyes water but can you afford to be without one? What price do you put on your freedom, your future and your good name?
Don’t think that everything you say will be heard in court. Far from it. The prosecution will pick and choose what they tell the jury to make certain that you are painted in the worst possible light. If you say just one thing to the police that sounds bad then you can bet that is the one thing that the jury is certain to get to hear.
Avoid physical contact
Backing away from a police officer can be seen as resisting arrest which is an offence. Getting too close to or touching an officer can be considered assaulting a police officer which is also an offence. Who knows what other offences they can pile upon you if you get too mouthy, violent, agitated or try to run. Stand your ground, don’t react to any abuse they might give you, take it on the chin and don’t say anything. If you take this advice then the cops won’t be able to add any offences and the arrest just might become less attractive to them. In any event, if you are going to be arrested then you don’t want to be arrested for more than you have to be.
Why would you not want a lawyer present?
People who refuse to have legal council present when they are being questioned by the police must be crazy. Lots of people waive this right even when a lawyer is offered for free. Why would you do that? I suppose that if you know you are innocent and you are a fine upstanding member of the society then you might think that you have nothing to fear and all you want to do is help the police with their enquiries. Wrong. This is a naive belief. When you are arrested you are not helping the police to find the truth and the real criminals, you are helping them to convict you. A lawyer can help to protect you from saying things that you are best advised not to. Don’t refuse a lawyer. Make sure you have legal representation at all times.
What do the police get for finding the truth? Nothing at all. What do the police get for convicting you? A promotion, or at least more points on their tally sheet to help their career progression. The police will do everything that they can to try and convict you whether you are innocent or guilty. Can you blame them for doing that? After all it’s what their job demands of them.
The police are your enemies when you get arrested
The justice system guarantees that the police become your enemies the moment that they arrest you. The whole process is defined as “adversarial” which means that it becomes war and the police are not on your side.
When the police interview you it might seem like you are just having a friendly chat. Don’t be fooled by this. They are very well trained in interrogation techniques. They will first try to gain your confidence then they will embark upon a series of questions designed to get you to tell them exactly what they want you to say. Don’t think that you have free will in this process. You are being manipulated. Don’t say anything at all then you won’t tell them what they want to hear.
What about the real criminals?
Cooperating with the police is the same as giving them ammunition with which to shoot you in court. If they can do this then why would they bother to waste their time looking for the real culprits? If they can convict you with what you have given them it’s a lot easier than chasing after someone that they might not even know about yet. Not giving them any information will force the police to work harder and look for the truth. Don’t stop them from doing this.
Deal with any outstanding arrest warrants promptly
One very common way to get yourself arrested is to ignore an active arrest warrant. Sooner of later they will come and arrest you and when this happens you will most definitely be their enemy number one that day. If you give yourself in voluntarily however the rules of engagement change significantly. You can find out if you have an active arrest warrant with an online public records web site. This is easy and convenient and something that you can do regularly because it is quick and confidential. It’s not expensive and can give you a lot of peace of mind.
Author: Steve Gee