After an Arrest

If you or someone you know is arrested, it is important to talk to an attorney as soon as possible. There are several rules to remember when you have contact with the police. Some of the most important rules that can help in your case are listed here.

While every case is different, it is always important to talk to a criminal defense attorney before applying any general rule. You may choose to consider these:

Rule #1: Do not make any statements to police or other individuals.

This is why we have Miranda rights. You may remember from movies or TV what is said over and over: "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."

At best, your statements will be neutral. At worst, your statements will convict you!

Rule #2: Always demand to have an attorney present.

Why should you go it alone when you have a constitutional right to an attorney? The process of police investigation is designed to get a conviction. It has little to do with evenhandedness, getting to the truth or setting out your solid defense to criminal charges. Most people are not well-versed in legal matters. Should you guess wrong and not have an attorney present, you may be hurting your case! Take the first step toward getting your best defense.

Rule #3: The police are on the other side.

It is the job of the police to use any means, fair or unfair, to make their case. They want you to talk and make statements that could be used against you in court later. Police use interrogation tactics designed to get you to talk:

  • ".... We only want to know your side of the story"
  • ".... If you have nothing to hide then why do you need an attorney"
  • ".... It will go easier for you if you just tell us the truth"

All of these statements, together with trying to be your friend, or the good cop/bad cop routine, are all designed to get you to give evidence that may be used to convict you! Don't make the case against you by giving a statement without an attorney present.

Rule #4: Do not tell anyone else your story.

Persons charged with a crime sometimes discuss their case with friends and family. This is a mistake! If you tell anyone else, (other than your attorney or someone with whom privilege applies), your "story" of what happened can be used against you in court as a statement against interest by calling the person you talked to testify against you! It is not hearsay! It doesn't matter that they are on your side. They can be subpoenaed and forced to testify under penalty of perjury!

Rule #5: Tell your attorney everything.

Another common mistake is holding back information from your attorney. When you hold back information, even if you think it is helping your case, or that it is too embarrassing or damaging, or that it is not important, you may be hurting your case. Time and time again the attorney finds out too late to allow a proper strategy to be taken to address the problem. Let the attorney decide whether it is important or not. Let the attorney do his or her job by addressing the information in the way best fit for your case.

Improper Search And Seizure. Illegal Warrant. Illegal Stop. Entrapment. Self-Defense. Alibi.

All of these things are defenses that may apply in your case. To implement any defense, it is best to have an attorney who can present the defense and give you the best chance or winning in court. I will assist you in exploring your defenses and protecting you from the tactics designed to get you to hurt your case at trial.