It goes without saying that being arrested can be a frightening experience. Suddenly handcuffs are being placed on you and you have never felt so trapped before. You may not have even done anything to warrant such a response, but the officer was set on arresting you either way for a suspected crime you committed. Well, as your arrest is underway, how you respond and what you say can make the difference in dropped charges or facing the worst repercussions. If you were recently arrested, it’s time to have a criminal defense lawyer represent you and protect your best interest.
Firstly, do be courteous to the police, even though you may be irate. Do not give them an additional reason to find you threatening. To your ability, do not give them the impression that you are troublesome to deal with. Be sure to ask for the officer’s badge number and name, or read it off their badge and try to remember. Take a look at the officer’s face and characteristics so that you can pick them out later if needed. If you get arrested in your vehicle, give the officer your registration and driver’s license information. In other circumstances, such as being stopped while walking on the street, you can’t be arrested just for refusing to give personal information.
If you are placed into police custody, state the right to have your lawyer meet with you before speaking with law enforcement. Ask if you are under arrest, and if they respond yes, ask why (you have a right to know). Clearly tell the police that you refuse to speak with them about anything related to the arrest without your lawyer being present first. If you make a phone call, keep in mind that police cannot listen in if you contact a lawyer, but they can if you reach out to anyone else. Many people have unintentionally stated incriminating things when calling a friend or family member. Protect yourself by being strategic and only call a lawyer, as a team member at the Law Group of Iowa would recommend, until they can arrive at the station and advise you from there.
Write down what happened throughout your arrest, so that you can use these details to refresh your memory later. If you are injured from the arrest, request medical attention and let the medical team know about the case of your injury. Take pictures of your injuries as soon as you can, preferably when they are at their worst, if that is reasonable to do. Do not answer any questions aside from your name. If you answer their questions, that may at first seem like no big deal, it could come back later to hinder your defense case. Police may use various tactics to get you to answer their questions, but you are under no legal obligation to do so. Speak with a lawyer as soon as you can, and let them take the lead then on.