With the popularity of crime shows like Law & Order, CSI, Criminal Minds, you would think people would understand their rights when encountering the police. The truth is, many Americans don’t understand their rights when interacting with police. Even if you have never been arrested or in trouble with the law, knowing your rights is essential as you navigate through life. In this blog, our Virginia Beach criminal attorney outlines an easy to follow guide on what not to do if you’re arrested.
Never Run Away from Police
If you encounter the police in a situation where they plan to arrest you, you should never run away. Police training teaches if you are running way, you may have a weapon. This practice could lead them to be quicker to draw their guns. Additionally, police will make note that you tried to run away in their report, and a prosecuting attorney could argue to a jury that you were running away because you knew you were guilty of something.
Don’t Fight Back or Resist Arrest
Resisting arrest could wind up with more charges against you. If you resist arrest and end up harming a police officer, you could be accused of assaulting a police officer, which is a Class 6 felony. In addition to more severe charges, police may think you are guilty if you are resisting. To prevent further damage, do your best to comply with all commands from the arresting officer until you can speak with an attorney.
Don’t Talk to the Police
While you are being arrested, the officer is required to read your Miranda Rights to you. The Miranda Warning was designed to prevent those arrested from incriminating themselves. When the police read you your Miranda Rights, they should say the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Remember those words during your arrest! It is true the police will try to extract information from you during your arrest, but politely let them know you wish to wait until an experienced lawyer is with you before speaking to them.
Don’t Sign Anything
The police may pressure you to sign documents regarding your arrest, but you are not under any legal obligation to sign anything until your lawyer is available to advise you.
Don’t Argue With Police
Remember it is in the best interest of the police to get you to talk and they will use whatever legal methods they can to get you to do so. One strategy police may use to get you to talk is to tell you things that may upset you. If this begins happening, do your best to ignore their tactics and wait for your attorney to arrive.
Don’t Forget to Hire an Attorney
While we understand how stressful the process of arrest can be, we cannot emphasize enough how important hiring a skilled attorney is to your future. At The Law Offices of Daniel J Miller, we can prove you a personal, comprehensive legal plan to get your back on the right track.