From the moment you are approached by a police officer or law enforcement agent about a potential case or crime, you are under the microscope of the law. Everything you say and do will be scrutinized, and it all could be spun into evidence against you if you are arrested and charged for a criminal violation. At the same time, what you do not say or do is just as important, if not more.
If you are ever placed under arrest, you should always make certain you do not:
- Flee: For people with the flight instinct when it comes to fight-or-flight moments, it might be tempting to try to run away from the police if they reach for their handcuffs. Do not attempt to run. You will definitely worsen the situation, appear guilty, commit the crime of resisting arrest, and could endanger others if you are fleeing in a vehicle. Stay where you are until you are told by an officer that you can leave.
- Resist arrest: On the other hand, if you have a strong fight instinct in stressful situations, you absolutely must control it. Resisting arrest through violence is a serious crime that prosecutors will pursue vehemently. You could also be seriously injured by a police officer if your actions are interpreted as a physical assault.
- Talk too much: Are you charismatic and can usually talk yourself out of trouble? Do not try the same tactic during your arrest. When you are told that everything you say and do can be used against you in a court of law, they mean it. The more you say, the more potential evidence you could leak. Or, you might word something wrongly and appear guilty when you are truly innocent. If you feel like you are being pressured by the officer into speaking, then you might want to invoke your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent until you get a chance to talk to your lawyer.
- Permit unwarranted searches: Law enforcement agents need a warrant before they can conduct searches in many situations. If an officer asks to search you, your vehicle, your property, or your home, it means they do not have a warrant and do not consider themselves in a legal position to force a search and seizure. You should not provide your consent for requested searches. Any evidence collected in an unlawful, unconsented search can be dismissed later if your case goes before a judge.
Did you have a run in with the law and now you need legal representation to help you protect your own rights and freedoms? Call (707) 418-5352 to talk with Santa Rosa criminal defense Attorney Evan Zelig of the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. Our law firm has handled thousands of cases for our clients throughout the years, ranging from drug crimes and DUIs to violent crimes and sex crimes. To get a free consultation, please contact us right away.