It is not uncommon to make mistakes while being placed under or arrest or while in police custody. The fear of the moment combined with an inadequate understanding of basic rights could put you in a much worse position after your arrest. Mistakes can may lead to harsher sentencing or even being charged with additional crimes. It would depend on the circumstances. If you are placed under arrest, then it is important to remain calm and exercise your rights. You should try to avoid mistakes that include:
- Talking to the police: The most important rule of all is to never incriminate yourself while being placed under arrest or while being held in police custody. Law enforcement officers may promise you leniency in return for discussing the specifics that led to your arrest. Police officers are not required to be honest. In fact, they are likely to play on your ignorance of the law to trick you into a confession. What you say in police custody may be used against you by prosecutors.
- Not asking for a lawyer: You have the right to an attorney. If you are placed under arrest and questioned by police, then you should exercise this right. After being issued a Miranda warning, do not say anything. Ask for an attorney. Once you have asked for an attorney, you should not be questioned again.
- Resisting arrest: If police have decided to place you under arrest, then it would be a huge mistake to resist. Resisting arrest could lead to additional and more serious charges.
- Talking on social media: This mistake can be overlooked, and many people assume they will be saved by their privacy settings. If you are arrested and released, you should never discuss the details of your case on social media. Assume that anything you post on social media could eventually find its way into the courtroom.
- Waiting to hire an attorney: The sooner you hire a private attorney, the better. Your attorney can immediately begin building a defense, which could put you in an advantageous position at a later date.
- Lying to your attorney: Your attorney must keep the details of your case under wraps. This is known as “attorney-client privilege.” You could complicate or sink your case by lying to your attorney. Remember, an attorney is here to help defend your rights and future. They are not working against you, even if you feel your crime was especially egregious.
Do I Need a Lewisville Criminal Defense Lawyer?
Mistakes are also specific to the type of charges. We only discussed very general mistakes that apply to a majority of arrests. If you were arrested for a DWI in Texas, then there would be specific types of mistakes that would be unique to your situation. You should always speak to an attorney immediately after an arrest to avoid making mistakes that lead to harsher consequences, regardless of the types of charges you are facing.
There are instances where it is possible to reduce or dismiss charges. An experienced criminal defense attorney will explore every option to give you the best odds. Lewisville criminal defense lawyers Michael Crowder and Jared Julian are former Texas peace officers with years of combined legal experience. You may call our office at (972) 315-6222 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation explaining your possible options and legal rights.