If and when you get arrested don’t say a word
It could never happen to you right? Getting arrested is something that happens to other people not you. Isn’t that what you think? Well think again. You can get arrested for pretty much anything at any time whether you committed any offence or not. You may not even know that there is a warrant for arrest out on you and that the cops are coming for you right now.
You could get picked up on the street because you dared to walk out after dark and arrested on suspicion. You could get stopped in your car because you ran a red light and somehow the cops find something that you shouldn’t posses when they search your car. They might find that you have a warrant when they routinely search your car. Any one of these things and a lot more, can end up with you getting arrested.
If this happens to you you can tell the police your name and your address and when you have done that you can shut up. You don’t have to answer any more of their questions and you should not. For most law abiding people like yourself this advice will not come easy. You think that the police are your friends don’t you? Well they can be if you are the victim of a crime and you need their help. If the police are inviting you to “help them with their enquiries” then they are not your friends, especially if they have just arrested you.
Keep your mouth shut
If you get arrested in the US the cops will tell you that anything you say can be used against you in court. Rest assured that if they can use what you say to get you convicted then they will. Why on earth would anyone want to tell them anything at all in that case? Take note and remember to keep your mouth shut.
If you are unfortunate enough to get arrested in the UK the police are much more devious about interrogating you. They will tell you that you don’t have to say anything but unless you do you might not be able to rely on it in court. This is nothing more than a lie to get you to talk to them. When it comes to using what you say against you the UK police are no different to those in the US. Unless you can tell them about your cast iron alibi then keep your mouth shut. In fact why tell them about your alibi sooner than you need to? All it will do is give the cops an opportunity to find some evidence to prove that your alibi is false. Keep your mouth shut.
Get yourself legal representation
Always get a lawyer. You can not afford to be without one when the police ask you questions. Even if you don’t tell the cops anything, your lawyer needs to hear the questions you are being asked so that he can determine the nature and seriousness of whatever it is you are being accused of. Remember the police are skilled interrogators and they will have rehearsed many ways of questioning you to lead you to tell them what they want you to say. Keep your mouth shut and listen.
Did you know that parts of your statement can get read out in court out of context? Yes it’s true and it does happen. Even when you think that you have given a good account of yourself in the interview room the courtroom commandos can read out a portion of it and make you look like the worst piece of rubbish that ever littered the streets. Your defence team might object of course but by then the jury has heard it and it’s too late. The solution is don’t give the police anything they can use – anything at all.
Don’t touch the nice officer
No matter how mean the cops are being to you you must resist the temptation to react to it. Don’t start shouting and ranting, don’t try to run away or even step back for that matter. Above all, don’t touch the officers for any reason at any time. Doing any of these things will provide the cops opportunities to pile more and more offences onto your arrest sheet. The cops get points for it and it furthers their career. You get more time in prison, more fines or both.
Never engage the police without a lawyer
trying to fight a legal battle yourself is futile. You will lose. It always amazes me when people refuse their legal right to legal representation, even when it’s being provided free. I guess that most law abiding innocent people think that the police are their friends and that they have nothing to fear as long as they tell the truth. This is a popular but wholly incorrect assumption. the police are not your friend in this situation and you need all the help that you can get. Use the best legal representation you can afford.
The police are incentivised to arrest and convict people. The truth is only one of many tools that they might employ to achieve their aims but it is certainly not the only one. If they think that they can get a conviction without finding out the truth then they will. Believe me.
The police are not your buddies
If they police arrest you then they are not your friend. They are not going to be on your side. They will do everything that they can to gather evidence against you that might lead to your conviction. They will not actively gather information that might prove your innocence and they have even been known to suppress such evidence.
If you talk to the police then you will be subjected to their well rehearsed interrogation techniques. They are trained to get you to tell them what they want to hear.
If an innocent person is convicted then a criminal remains free
If you tell the police anything then you are helping them to convict you and removing any incentive that they might have had to search for the real criminal. It is your public duty to not let this happen. Make the police do the job that you are paying them to do. Make them look for the truth.
Do you have any outstanding arrest warrants
It is possible to avoid getting yourself arrested in some circumstances by handing yourself in before the police come and arrest you. If you give yourself up voluntarily and under the supervision of a lawyer then you will have a much greater chance of dealing with the warrant without getting yourself arrested. You can find out if you have any active arrest warrants by using a public records investigations web site. It isn’t expensive and it could save you from getting a very nasty surprise.
Author: Steve Gee