What to Do if Arrested or Called by Police for An Investigation
Whether you have been arrested or contacted by law enforcement officials who are conducting a criminal investigation, any interaction with police can be frightening, stressful, and emotionally overwhelming. It can be difficult to maintain a clear head and you may be tempted to do anything to get yourself out of the situation, especially if that means telling officers and investigators what they want to hear.
No matter what the circumstances may be, the best thing to do is remain silent until you are represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney. However, we are going to explain what you should do if you are arrested or called by the police for an investigation.
What to Do After an Arrest
If a police officer sees you commit an alleged crime or has probable cause to believe that you have committed a criminal offense, you will be arrested and taken into custody. It’s wise to know the phone numbers of your family members and your lawyer to ensure you reach out to the right parties once you have an opportunity to make a phone call.
The following are several steps you should take after you are arrested:
Do not say anything – Say you wish to remain silent and request an attorney immediately. Do not answer any questions asked by law enforcement officials or sign anything. While they may want to hear your side of the story, remember that anything you say can be used against you in court, specifically after they read you your Miranda rights. If you cannot afford a lawyer, you have the right to have legal counsel appointed by the court.
Do not resist arrest – Resisting arrest can only make matters worse, even if you believe the arrest is unfair. Additionally, evading an arrest is also a criminal charge.
Make a phone call – You have the right to make a phone call once you are in custody. The police are prohibited from listening to a phone call with your lawyer. However, they can listen to a call made to your loved ones or anyone else.
Obtain legal assistance – Do not make any decisions about your case until you first talk with a private lawyer or public defender. Your attorney will review your case, determine all your available legal options, and help you obtain the most favorable result in court.
What to Do If the Police Want to Talk
If you are contacted by police at home or work seeking answers to a few questions, this often means they have some kind of evidence or proof that you have allegedly committed a crime. Unfortunately, many people decide to voluntarily engage in questioning with law enforcement officials in order to “clear the air” or prove their innocence.
You should never walk into a police station without an attorney. Although law enforcement officials may have enough evidence to make an arrest, you may inadvertently admit facts that can prove guilt, accidentally lie, or even be misunderstood because something you say is taken the wrong way.
However, it is not uncommon for officers to come to your home or workplace and even be intimidating and threatening whenever they reach out. You must understand that they are doing so because they do not have enough to file criminal charges against you.
Remember, you are never obligated to speak with the police. Clearly say, “I do not wish to speak with you without my lawyer present.”
Your attorney can speak to law enforcement officials on your behalf and be your intermediary, so they will not keep calling you. Therefore, the police can no longer directly bother you.
If you end up getting charged with a crime, your lawyer can protect your rights and freedom throughout the legal process.