You may have seen Law & Order, CSI and NCIS but the truth is, many Americans don't know their rights when encountering the police. If you've never been arrested, it's imperative you understand your rights before you encounter the police. Our Fresno criminal defense attorneys have designed an easy-to-ready guide on what not to do if you're arrested.
Don't run away from the police
If the police have come to arrest you, do not run away. Police are trained to think if you're running away you could potentially have a weapon and they may be quicker to draw their guns, which could lead to devastating consequences. Additionally, if you run away and are then caught, your file will note that you ran away from the police while they were attempting their arrest. If your case goes to trial, the prosecutor could press the jurors that you ran away because you were guilty arguing that innocent people don't run.
Don't resist arrest or fight back
Resisting arrest or fighting back could also show you believe you are guilty. Also, any physical contact you have with the police officer attempting to make an arrest could be considered assault and battery. Assault and battery charges by themselves come with severe penalties, but when coupled with assaulting a protected class of citizen like a police officer, the penalties are even more severe.
Don't discuss details
During an arrest, a police officer is required to give you the Miranda Warning. This warning was designed to help prevent people from self-incriminating. You may have heard the police reading the Miranda warning to criminals on television: "You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law". You should remember these words during your arrest. Even if the police are asking you questions regarding your arrest, you are not obligated to answer. Always wait until an experienced Fresno criminal defense attorney is with you before you answer any police questions.
Remember, it is the police officer's job to get you to talk. The police may try to get you to reveal any information you have by telling you things they think may upset you. Don't let them get to you. Take a deep breath, remain calm and remind the police you do not wish to speak to anyone without your attorney present.
Don't move your hands into your pockets
In the past few years, news channels of covered stories across the United States of trigger-happy police officers shooting unarmed citizens because they thought the person was reaching into their waistband or pocket to pull out a gun. If the police arrive to arrest you, follow their directions and keep your hands where they can see them. If for any reason you have to reach into a pocket, purse or any other place, announce your intentions and ask permission before moving your hands.
Don't sign any documentation
If you've been arrested in Fresno, the police could try and pressure you into signing documents. We recommend not signing any documentation until you have on of Fresno criminal defense lawyers take a look at it.
Don't withhold information or lie to your attorney
During this stressful time, we understand you may be scared to reveal certain pieces of information regarding your case to your attorney, but in order to build the best possible defense for you, we need to know all the details of your case. If the prosecution is able to uncover details that you withheld from us later on, we could be blindsided by the information which could have a negative impact on the outcome of your trial.
Don't overlook the value of a skilled attorney
Our seasoned trial attorneys have a proven track record of success. We are deeply invested in providing you with a professional, comprehensive legal plan that can put you on the right track for the best possible future outcome.