Criminal Defense – The First Five Things You Need to Do When Arrested
When you face criminal charges, it is important to keep in mind actions you should and should not take with law enforcement. Here are a few ways to help yourself:
Do not run: Although this advice seems obvious, some people do panic. Seeing lights flash in your rear view mirror and hearing sirens can provoke thoughts of escape. Do not run-you will only make your situation much more serious.
Do not talk unnecessarily: If stopped by police, even before arrest, there is no need to speak to law enforcement other than to politely provide your name. Making arrests is daily business for law enforcement, not for you. While you nervously attempt to explain your innocence, law enforcement is carefully listening for probable cause to arrest you. If police ask to informally question you, calmly refuse. They are asking because they already suspect you. Do not try to make your case to people who are looking for help in making theirs – against you.
Search and seizure: At a traffic stop, law enforcement asks informally to search your vehicle. It is night, you have had one drink, the lights are bright on you, and you are nervous. Do you allow the search? No. Although you may feel intimidated, do not consent to a search of your vehicle, or your possessions. Arrest charges can arise from informal searches. Again, in Nebraska, if law enforcement had enough evidence to arrest you, or to search your vehicle, they would probably already have done it. Do not give police authority to search you, your vehicle, or your possessions.
Remember your rights: Upon arrest, remember law enforcement must give you a Miranda warning, a recitation of your right to remain silent, to remember things you say will be used against you and that you have a right to legal representation before questioning. The most important point is to remain silent and get a lawyer.
Contact a criminal defense attorney: When you are arrested, things happen fast. Remember the steps above and act appropriately. When you are facing criminal charges, defense is your first priority. And make sure your first arrest experience is your last.