WHAT TO DO (AND NOT TO DO) WHEN ARRESTED
Updated: Apr 25
You’re getting arrested… now what?
Interactions with law enforcement can be frightening and even traumatizing. An arrested person is most vulnerable to the unscrupulous tactics of law enforcement between the beginning of the arrest and the person's later opportunity to contact a lawyer.
Here are 5 tips on what to do (and not to do) when arrested:
1- DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE no matter what they say to try to intimidate you or promise you some benefit. Politely say you want to speak to a lawyer immediately. Don’t give any explanations or excuses. Don’t say anything, sign anything, or make any decisions without a lawyer. The police are required by law to stop questioning you as soon as you ask for a lawyer. The only thing you should tell the police - if they ask you - is your name. Don’t lie about that.
2- DO NOT CONSENT TO A SEARCH. If the police want to search, they're going to search. But not all police searches are legal, and your criminal defense attorney may have a chance to get the evidence thrown out in court as long as you don’t give consent.
3- DO NOT RUN AWAY, INTERFERE, OR RESIST ARREST when a police officer decides to arrest you. Doing so will always result in additional problems and serious criminal charges. Even if you're innocent and the police are trying to frame you, the time to defend your case comes later. Under the law, running away from the police or resisting arrest can be seen as evidence that a person is guilty of something. Don't give the police more evidence than they already have. Remain calm and quiet, and cooperate with the arrest.
4- DO CALL AN ATTORNEY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If you've been arrested by the police, you have the right to make a local phone call. The attorney-client privilege prevents the police from listening in or recording conversations with lawyers. On the other hand, police will often listen and always record phone calls you make to anyone else. To avoid being overheard or recorded, the best practice is to never discuss the details of your case with anyone over the phone. Be patient and save the details for a private meeting with your lawyer.
5- DO WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENED AS SOON AS YOU CAN. Having a detailed and accurate diary of the events surrounding your arrest will be very important. The law allows you to use that writing to refresh your memory at a later date, such as during your testimony if your case goes to trial.
Being arrested and heading to the Harris County Jail (or any other jail) is an overwhelming and horrible experience. Stay calm, stay silent, and seek the advice of a Houston attorney as quickly as possible. If you have further questions, feel free to contact us for a free Case Evaluation. Houston Criminal Defense Attorney Sean Buckley is ready to help you protect your rights and fight for your freedom and reputation.
Attorney Sean Buckley is a protégé of famed criminal defense trial lawyer Dick DeGuerin, whose influence defined Buckley’s skillset and multi-dimensional approach to defending clients. Following in the footsteps of his mentor, Buckley’s work has been favorably covered by the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and numerous other national and local media outlets. Buckley also serves as lead editor of O’Connor’s Federal Criminal Rules & Codes, a legal reference book used by criminal lawyers across the United States. He earned his B.A. from Auburn in 1996 and his law degree from The University of Texas School of Law in 1999.
Visit and follow us at www.SeanBuckleyAttorney.com