When you get arrested – SHUT UP!
Getting yourself arrested can come as a surprise. This is especially true when you are a good law abiding citizen and getting arrested is the last thing that you expected to happen.
Having the police come for you with an arrest warrant or even just arresting you on suspicion of doing something that you haven’t done can be a very scary experience and it happens to thousands of people every year. When it happens to you will you know what to do? Will you know how to handle the situation in a way that doesn’t incriminate you?
Most of us, and I’m guessing you too, would assume that cooperating with the police was the best thing to do. Answer all their questions as truthfully and as honestly as you can. It pains me to have to tell you that this is exactly what you should not do.
Do not say anything
When you get arrested you will be told that you don’t have to say anything if you don’t want to but if you do say something then it can be used against you in court. Read that again – “It can be used against you” – and believe me, if they can use it against you then they will.
In the UK the police are much less honest than than US cops. They fail to tell you about the danger that you put yourself in when you talk to them. In fact they encourage you to incriminate yourself by suggesting that if you don’t say anything then you won’t be able to rely on it in court. As if you have to tell them everything or you will be in big trouble. Be quite clear on this point. If you tell the police anything then it is very likely that it will be held against you when you go to court. So don’t say anything.
Get yourself a lawyer
If you are going to say anything at all to the police then make sure that your legal council is present at all times. This will help you to avoid some of the more blatant traps that the police will place for you in their questioning. It is very difficult to stop yourself from saying something that will later get you into trouble. Often you will not be aware of the intent of the questions being put to you. The interviewers are skilled at what they do and are well rehearsed in their questioning techniques.
You might not know this but when you get to court they can use any part of your statements against you and they do not have to quote the whole conversation. Quotations from your statements can and do get used out of context to make you look bad when the answers you gave to questions seemed quite safe at the time when you said them.
Don’t be stupid. When you get arrested don’t say anything then they will not have anything that they can use against you. It’s that simple.
Never touch a police officer
if you find yourself being arrested by a police officer don’t protest, don’t shout and curse and above all do not touch the officer. If you do any of these things it can get you arrested when they were not going to arrest you. It can also get you arrested on more serious charges than you might otherwise have been. These extra charges can include resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer. You do not want to add these charges to your arrest record but the officers will love it if you do. They get more points if they can arrest you on more serious charges.
Never refuse legal council
It is not uncommon for people to refuse legal council when they get arrested, even when the service is free. The right to a lawyer is often waived by innocent people who believe that they have nothing to fear from the justice system providing that they answer all the police questions truthfully and honestly. They have nothing to hide do they? Nothing could be further from the truth. Do you think that the police are interested in the truth or in finding the real criminal if you are sitting in front of them prepared to give them all the evidence that they need to convict you?
The police are interested in increasing their conviction rate. They have no incentive to ensure that they put the right people behind bars, despite anything that you might see in films or on TV.
The police are not your friends
If they police arrest you then they are not your friend. They are not on your side. They will do everything that they can to gather evidence against you that might lead to your conviction.
Police investigators are experts in getting you to say exactly what they want you to say and they want you to say something that they can use against you in court. Don’t tell them anything.
it’s your public duty to say nothing
If you talk to the police then you are potentially giving them the evidence that they can use to convict you with. If they have that evidence then they will lose any incentive that they might have had to look for the real criminal. If you talk to the police they could convict you and the real offender will remain free to commit more crimes. It is your public duty to not let this happen. Make the police do their job and find the truth instead of making it up.
Do you have any outstanding arrest warrants
You can often avoid getting yourself arrested by handing yourself in before the police come to arrest you. If you do this voluntarily and under the supervision of a lawyer then you have a much better chance of dealing with the warrant without getting arrested. You can find out if you have any active arrest warrants by consulting a public records investigations web site. It isn’t expensive and it could save you from getting a nasty surprise.
Author: Steve Gee