When you’re arrested and charged with a crime, you’re placed into a dangerous situation that could potentially cost you significant years of your life.
Even if you haven’t actually committed a crime, you’re still at risk of facing prison time if there’s enough evidence to convict you. But there are steps you can take to reduce that risk.
In this blog post, we’ll cover 3 critically-important tips to remember if you’re arrested, including how you should conduct yourself around police, what you should avoid saying and doing, and how you can protect yourself if your rights have been violated.
“Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Police are required to recite this to you as part of your Miranda Rights, and it’s one of the most important lines for you to remember at all times.
If you’ve been arrested, it’s of paramount importance for you to remember that as of now, police officers are no longer your friends. Your words can be used to link you to any supposed evidence of a crime they’ve seen, recorded, or possess. In court, what you say can potentially be used to provide context for a crime you allegedly committed.
Police officers may ask you questions in an effort to seemingly connect with you or cover mundane details of a situation. No matter what they say, you must not communicate with them without a lawyer present.
A lawyer will be able to recognize when an officer is attempting to get you to answer questions in a way that could incriminate you. They’re your best protection against potentially receiving an unjust prison sentence or other punishment.
You aren’t only at risk by talking to the police directly. Once you’re in their custody, any call you make to someone other than your lawyer can be tapped and listened to by the police.
The same rules apply here as with talking to an officer directly. While you’re in police custody, it’s best to avoid speaking to anyone over the phone for an extended period of time. In this case, though, it isn’t just you that’s at risk. What you say over the phone could cause potential trouble for the person on the other line, as well.
That isn’t to say you shouldn’t contact loved ones and emergency contacts once you’ve been arrested. On the contrary, you should inform those closest to you of your current situation. If you’re planning to speak to any friends and loved ones, though, you should do it in as private of a setting as possible with an attorney present.
You can file an anonymous written complaint to the civilian complaint board or the internal affairs division of the agency the arresting officers work for.
Regardless of whether you actually believe you’ve been arrested and charged unjustly, you should take detailed notes of everything you saw and heard as the situation unfolded. Specifically, that includes:
Above all else, the most important step you can take to protect your rights if you’ve been arrested is to secure the services of an experienced defense attorney.
Tampa criminal lawyer Anthony Candela is a board-certified expert and specialist in criminal trials, and he’s ready to fight hard to defend you against an unjust sentence. Schedule a consultation with Candela Law Firm to speak with him now.
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