4 Ways to Avoid Incriminating Yourself Before Being Arrested
Except for in certain cases where there is probable cause to believe you committed a crime, you cannot be arrested until the police have a valid warrant for your arrest. This does not mean you will not interact with law enforcement before being arrested – you likely will. And during these interactions, there will be numerous opportunities for you to incriminate yourself. Successful criminal defense depends largely on avoiding self-incrimination. Keep the following tips in mind during your law enforcement interactions to avoid incriminating yourself.
Do Not Speak with Law Enforcement
If you remember nothing else about avoiding incrimination during your initial interaction with law enforcement, remember this: you have the right to remain silent. There are a few circumstances under which you are required to identify yourself to police. They are:
- If you are stopped while driving a car, you must show your driver’s license; and
- If you are in a public space, and law enforcement has reason to believe you were involved in a crime, they may ask you to identify yourself. If the officers have identified themselves as police officers in this circumstance, you must comply with their request.
Beyond identifying yourself, you are not required to answer any questions.
Do Not Discuss Your Case With Anybody Else
Keep all of your case’s details to yourself. The only exception to this rule is your lawyer – in order to effectively work with you to develop a legal defense strategy, your lawyer needs to know every detail about your case. Beyond your lawyer, nobody needs to know about what happened or why you are facing arrest. That includes your close friends and family members.
Disregard Anything Law Enforcement Says to You
During interactions with law enforcement, officers will attempt to get information about an alleged crime out of you in any way possible. This includes lying to you. If an officer tells you that he or she already has evidence against you or that by talking with them, they will “go easy on you,” ignore this statement. Law enforcement is not “on your side.”
Start Working With a Criminal Defense Lawyer as Soon as Possible
The sooner you start working with a lawyer, the better your lawyer can serve you. There are many ways your lawyer can help you defend your case, including coaching you on how to interact with law enforcement to avoid incriminating yourself.
Work with an Experienced Naperville Criminal Defense Attorney
Do not wait until you are arrested to start working with an experienced St. Charles criminal defense lawyer. If you are accused of being involved in a criminal act, or if you even think there is a chance you could face an arrest, contact the team at Donahue & Sowa today to schedule a free initial consultation. We can answer all of your questions and help you determine the most effective way to move forward with your defense strategy. Call us today at 630-505-5200 for help.