10 Dont’s After You’ve Been Arrested
You’ve just been caught red-handed committing a crime, or maybe you’re being arrested for something you didn’t do. Either way, you find yourself in handcuffs, and at times like this, your nerves can get the better of you. Clouded judgment is often the unwanted byproduct.
The truth is that regardless of your mental state, there are some things that you must make certain never to do either while you’re being arrested or during the hours and days that follow. Of the many foolish mistakes to avoid, the following 10 top the list.
1. Do not ever admit to guilt. You’ll have plenty of time to do that later if your lawyer thinks it will help, but confessing to law enforcement will get you nothing and could seriously stymie your upcoming defense. Even a simple “I’m sorry” could come back to haunt you in the end.
2. Don’t waste time protesting your innocence. The arresting officer will not be trying your case, and chances are that he doesn’t care whether you are guilty or not. When you find yourself under arrest, the less you say, the better. You are not schooled in the intricacies of the law, and the best way to steer clear of damaging your case is to keep your information and opinions to yourself.
3. Don’t speak to anyone without an attorney present. You have a legal right to discuss your situation with a lawyer in private, and it’s best to do this soon as possible. Good defense attorneys will advise you as to whether you should speak at all and tell you what to say if you do. They will also protect your rights if anyone should ask you to submit to a blood test, give a DNA sample, appear in a lineup or do anything else that might produce incriminating evidence against you. Any attempt to make such decisions on your own without legal advice could harm your defense immeasurably.
4. When you’re in the interrogation room, don’t be fooled by anything that law enforcement tells you. Many detectives have a habit of making things up to trick you into confessing. They may insist that a witness has identified you or that your partner in crime has spilled the beans. They may even come right out and state that if you talk, things will go much easier for you. Don’t be fooled. These are all known tactics designed to dupe you into telling the detectives what they want to hear.
5. Don’t brag about your crime to friends or cellmates. You might think of blowing your horn as a way of winning some street cred, but the most it’s likely to earn you at all is extended time behind bars. If you need to crow about your escapades, tell it to your lawyer and to no one else. He or she is the only person who needs to know the facts about your case.
6. If you’re lucky enough to get out on bail, steer clear of social media sites. Investigators have learned to mine Twitter and its counterparts in search of damaging data, and anything you post in these locations could serve the prosecution as admissible evidence. Unfortunately, if you’ve previously streamed your escapade on Facebook Live, you’ve already harmed your chances of beating the charges against you.
7. While you are out on bail awaiting your day in court, do your best to stay out of trouble. This might involve avoiding your favorite stomping grounds and giving the slip to people who could pull you back into their web. Above all, you must not commit any more crimes or in any way give the appearance of having broken the law.
8. Don’t hold anything back from your lawyer. Think of it as your chance to get things off your chest, even if some of the facts involved seem too unimportant to matter. After all, if you know you’re guilty, your criminal attorney needs to know it too. Only a complete knowledge of the facts at hand will enable your lawyer to serve as your advocate and represent you effectively at trial.
9. Don’t try to interfere with a police investigation or obstruct members of law enforcement as they go about their business. Make no attempts to bribe witnesses, cover up evidence or alter the scene of the crime. This sort of activity will most likely result in the filing of additional charges against you, and even if it doesn’t, the fact that you have behaved in this manner will do you no favors down the road when your case is tried in court.
10. When you are out on bail, do not try to cross state lines or leave the country without first speaking to your attorney and getting written permission when necessary. Failure to do so will result in your arrest and extradition. Remember, until your case has reached a conclusion, you must remain available always.
At Gregory & Waldo we’re familiar with the many mistakes that people tend to make after they’ve been arrested. If you should find yourself in custody for having committed a crime, please contact us immediately for assistance, and be sure to speak to no one unless we are present. We have fought for the rights of countless Las Vegas residents as they faced and fought the charges against them, and we can do the same for you.