Criminally speaking – what not to do when arrested

There are just some things a person who has been arrested or about to be arrested should not do.

“While this may seem to be a no-brainer, there are a large number of people who, when faced with a police presence, panic and run. Don’t do this. It’s one of the worst things you could do and it doesn’t do you any good in court later, either,” said Robert Webb, of Webb & D’Orazio in Atlanta, Georgia. The firm practices personal injury law, business law, and criminal defense.

Many people, when they have been arrested or are about to be arrested, talk and sputter with abandon. Do not offer any explanations for anything to anyone. “Just provide your name and keep the details of whatever it is the police want to talk to you about to yourself, and only speak to me. Why? Because although you may be innocent and just nervous, every single word you say is taken down for use against you later. The reality is that the police are looking for probable cause to arrest you. If the police ask to question you informally, refuse. By asking, they’re telling you you’re a suspect. Call me and I’ll take it from there,” Webb said.

That last thing anyone under arrest needs to do is dig themselves a hole they can’t get out of, even if they were just trying to explain themselves. “Stay quiet, be polite, refuse to be questioned and don’t let the police make a case against you,” Webb said.

“If your car has been halted at a traffic stop and you’re asked if the police can informally search your vehicle. The answer needs to be ‘no.’ This is because arrest charges could come about as a result of that search. The long and short of this is, don’t give permission for them to search you, your possessions or you car,” he said.

“Even though being arrested is a traumatic experience, remember your rights,” Webb said. The police are required to give a Miranda warning about remaining silent. Take that advice to heart and do not say anything and get a criminal defense lawyer immediately.

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