I’ve been arrested…what now?

Many of us find ourselves in the unfortunate position of being arrested, whether it’s based on legitimate facts or not. I believe there are some pieces of advice, whether you feel you were treated unfairly or not that will never hurt and sometimes may help. The following is some helpful advice if you ever find yourself in this position, and want to have a fair chance of fighting your case:

What is an arrest?

Many of my clients will immediately say, “….and they never read me my Miranda rights, shouldn’t this case just be dismissed? (that answer is a blog in itself) however;

Remember, Miranda is not a judicial decision that said in every criminal case, Miranda rights shall be read to you. In fact, in many cases, like DUI’s, it is likely Law Enforcement will not read you your Miranda rights. The best explanation is the police can pull you over based on a reasonable articulable suspicion (i.e. you were speeding, possibly weaving, or violating some vehicle code violation). Assume you were speeding, and the officer approaches stating “license and registration”. At this point the reasonable suspicion to enforce a traffic stop, will often times turn to probable cause, if “there is strong odor of alcohol”, or “red, blood-shot watery eyes”, and of course “thick and slurred speech”. Those statements should be trademarked because I’m not sure if I’ve ever read a DUI police report that did not use that exact language. Establishing the probable cause will be enough for you to be arrested. In short, an arrest is recognized as that moment when the officer has a reasonable belief based on the facts and circumstances that a person has committed a crime, or about to commit a crime. Once this occurs, the best advice is centered around one central theme… DO NOT BE A DUMB ASS!! I’ll provide some specific examples, but if any readers become confused or missed a point, you can always go back to the theme above. Although seemingly simple, many would be overwhelmed with the utter failure of this simple theme when they are arrested.

1) DO NOT TALK OR RUN. You have a constitutional right to not talk, yet most of my clients not only talk, usually they will throw in an admission, or several inconsistent statements, to completely make their case even more to fight. Saying nothing is not inferring guilt, it is saving you from either 1) incriminating yourself or 2) allowing the officer to interpret your words into his own narrative and thus far, I have yet to read a police report that concludes “based on my investigation, I find the defendant completely innocent. Obviously, DON’T RUN, seems to be straight forward, but I promise, it is not uncommon for the arrested to just take off, with a vehicle, feet, or whatever mode of transportation preferred. This is the behavior that often times changes a run of the mill misdemeanor into a legitimate felony. Again, avoid becoming a dumb ass.

2) DO NOT RESIST BEING ARRESTED OR BE THE “SMACK TALKER GUY”. Sounds simple, but have any of us have watched a few episodes of COPS? Resisting arrest has various levels, but the one consistency is it will not make your case better. Regardless of the many story’s we read about the rogue officer, the reality is these men and women do place themselves in harm’s way, and the overwhelming percentage are just trying to perform their job. In fact, if your fear is the rogue cop will go nuts and begin beating on you, it makes even more sense to not resist arrest. In addition, most of us have dealt with a person talking smack, and I strongly recommend to avoid his action. In your quest TO NOT BE A DUMB ASS, I will rank being respectful as one of the most important events during the arrest process.

3) DO NOT BELIEVE THE POLICE BECAUSE THEY WILL LIE, AND DO NOT MAKE THEIR JOB EASY BY CONSENTING TO ANY SEARCH. That is correct, the police are not bound to be honest during the investigation, in fact they generally will create a rouse, or separate multiple defendants, and tell each of them “their friend has giving up everyone, so you might as well confirm their story and tell us what really happened”. Let the confessions roll, and just map out every event that occurred during the incident. Furthermore, after giving yourself up, please do not allow the officers to just roam wherever they please, so they can toll even more charges against you.

In conclusion, you now should understand the concept of an arrest, remember that the arrest is the initial stage, and simply following a few rules:

1) No talking or running
2) Do not resist arrest or talk trash
3) The police will lie, so do not double down and provide consent to make a warrantless search to further sink your case.

Although this may sound trivial and relatively common sense, most of my peers and I will tell you that law enforcement can generally come up with the arrest, but the real fight is going to have a great deal of either how easy or difficult the direction of the case, which may take several months. And if all else fails, simply go back to the main theme during the arrest….DO NOT BE A DUMB ASS!

Call the Law Office of B. Scott Winkler immediately when you are arrested. Do not wait or hesitate to call the office at 661-746-0235. Ask about the free consultation, help is near!