Bryan Perkins, Attorney at Law
What should you do if you are arrested? You should immediately start preparing your case for trial and not do anything that could potentially sabotage your future defense. You may eventually retain great legal counsel, but keep in mind that it is sometimes difficult, if not impossible, for even the best defense attorney to correct damage that was created by a client at the time of arrest. The following are some things to consider should you ever be arrested:
1. The Right to Remain Silent. If you have been arrested by the police they are not trying to help you. They are doing their job . . . which is to see that you are convicted of a crime and sent to prison or jail. So no matter how nice the police try to be to you, get it out of your mind that they are your friends or that they are trying to help you out. The police may tell you that they just want to hear your side of the story. The first time you tell your story it should be to your defense counsel. Courts say that it is perfectly acceptable for the police to engage in all kinds of dirty tricks and deceptive practices to entice you into making a statement. For example, the police may ask you to explain why your DNA was found at a certain location, when in reality they have no such evidence. Don’t fall for it. The police may also try to get you say things which have nothing to do with your case, but will put you in bad light when your statement is later played to the jury. The police will intentionally attempt to confuse you and mix up your words so that it appears you are being dishonest. You have the right to remain silent . . . use it.
Remember: If the police had enough independent evidence to convict you of a crime, they would not need to talk to you about it. Police rely heavily on evidence that comes directly from a person’s own mouth . . . don’t give it to them.
2. Ask For Your Attorney. The sooner you get an attorney involved in your case, the better your chance of mounting a successful defense to the charges once your case goes to trial. As soon as you are arrested, ask for attorney and keep asking for him or her until you are able to speak with them. Be sure to retain defense counsel that is highly skilled and experienced in the field of criminal defense. Nothing is more sacred than your freedom.
3. Don’t Fight, Resist, Run, or Use Profanity. Be polite to the police even if you feel you are being unjustly treated or arrested without good cause. Whatever actions you take at the time of your arrest could very well be admitted into evidence at your trial. Do you really want the jury that is going to decide your fate hear that you resisted and cussed out the police when you were arrested? I can tell you that your defense attorney will not want the jury to hear those things. In Ohio, juries are permitted to consider the fact that a suspect ran away from the police at the time of his or her arrest as evidence of guilty — it’s called consciousness of guilt. When you run, resist, or use profanity, all you do is make it easier for the prosecutor to convict you at trial. Be polite and courteous, and do not run away or resist — it will help you greatly at trial.
Bryan R. Perkins, Attorney at Law