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Loudoun County Attorneys > Blog > Criminal Defense > Five Practical Tips When Arrested by the Police

Five Practical Tips When Arrested by the Police

When you are placed under arrest, it means your rights are being taken away temporarily. For those who have never endured it, there can be shock, confusion, fear, and indignation at being restrained against your will and forced into compliance. While the process has a very good purpose in society, it can leave a person rattled and disoriented. This is not the time to make hurried or impassioned decisions that could have a lasting effect on your future. It is the time to take some advice from an attorney before doing anything else. Since most people will not have a lawyer sitting next to them in the squad car heading for the police station, here are five practical tips for helping you through your arrest and making the best of the situation.

Tip #1 – Keep quiet

A lot of people become indignant and angry, especially when they know they have done nothing wrong or when the entire arrest is based on a misunderstanding of the events. Nevertheless, remember that the law enforcement officer is simply following a procedure to protect the public. It is not his or her job to determine if you are guilty; the officer is solely taking you into custody. Proving guilt is the prosecutor’s job. Remember this distinction. The police do not charge you, nor do they prosecute you; an attorney does. Therefore, you should not be speaking to the police at all. Simply ask for an attorney, and then say nothing else. This includes not speaking to cell mates or anyone who is not an attorney.

Tip #2 – Be polite

It is worth mentioning that when invoking your Miranda Rights, you should also be exceedingly courteous. Remember that the police deal with hardened criminals every day. They deal with violent people, people who are on drugs, and intoxicated individuals who may lack judgment. Officers are routinely verbally abused and cursed at. Things will generally go much better for you – innocent or not – if you are polite and kind to them. Regardless of how you feel you are being treated, remember to use “please” and “thank you” and be genuine. Simply tell them that you know they are just doing their jobs, but you need to speak to an attorney before you can answer any questions.

Tip #3 – Do not say anything over a jailhouse telephone

All calls to and from inmates are recorded. Do not call your girlfriend to tell her where you hid evidence of a crime. This will come back to bite you. Likewise, do not try to sneak the information out in any other way – including the use of “code” language. The police know the euphemisms for drugs, weapons, and gang terminology. This is just a bad idea all around. There are numerous cases of recorded phone calls making things very bad for a defendant.

Tip #4 – Listen to your lawyer but get a second opinion

Sometimes you cannot reach a private criminal defense attorney, given the time of day or because you do not know the number. It is wise to have a family member contact an attorney and set up the first meeting. After all, if you are in jail, this can be difficult. For this reason, you may at first have to speak with a public defender. If you do, listen carefully and ask a lot of questions. When you or a family member is able to reach a private defense attorney, try to remember what you have already been told. Compare information, and ask a lot of questions again. It never hurts to get a second opinion on something as important as your freedom and life.

Tip #5 – Tell your lawyer the truth

One of the biggest mistakes accused individuals make is thinking their lawyer will somehow betray them. Your lawyer’s livelihood, reputation, and entire career rest on his or her respect for client communications. Your lawyer is bound to keep your comments private. But if you do not share the facts with your lawyer, then he cannot fully represent you. Sometimes the tiniest details you think do not matter can be just the details your attorney needs to help you avoid prison.

What to do if you are arrested in and around Leesburg, Virginia

If you are arrested, follow these tips carefully and remain silent. Politely ask for a lawyer. Once you do speak to an attorney, pay close attention and make mental notes of everything that is discussed. If you can safely and privately take notes, do so. If not, ask your attorney to make notes of your discussion for you to review later. Do not talk to cell mates, and do not talk about anything related to the charges over a jailhouse telephone. Most importantly, contact Simms Showers, LLP for one of the best legal teams in Leesburg. Located just two blocks from the courthouse in Loudoun County, it just takes one call to put an aggressive defense attorney in your corner.

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