Arrest Warrant Search - What Do I Do When I Get Arrested
When you get yourself arrested - SHUT UP!
Having the police descend upon you with an arrest warrant can be scary. Even if you just get arrested on suspicion of committing an offence that you know nothing about it can be a very scary experience indeed and it does happen to a huge number of people every day. Do you know what you should do when it happens to you? Are you prepared to handle this impossible situation in such a way that it doesn't get you convicted and sent to prison?
If you are like me then I'm betting that you think that cooperating with the police, in any way that you can is the best thing that you can do. You naturally want to answer all their questions in the most honest and truthful way you can. It gives me no pleasure to tell you that you are wrong and that cooperating with the police is often the worst thing that you can do.
When you are placed under arrest you will be told that you don't have to say anything but if you do say something then it can be used against you in court. Don't skip this point - "It can be used against you" - and believe me, I have seen this happen. If they can use what you say against you then they will do so and then pat themselves on the back for doing it.
UK police are much less honest than than US cops for some reason. Get arrested in the UK and they fail to inform you of the danger that you will be putting yourself in when you talk to them and make statements. They are so desperate to get you that they encourage you to incriminate yourself by telling you that if you stay silent then you will be worse off in court. I'm not a lawyer but I'm guessing that this is hardly ever true. Be very clear on this point. If you say anything to the police then it is very likely that it will be used against you when you go to court. So keep your mouth shut.
Get yourself a lawyer first
If you decide to ignore my advice and you are going to give the police a statement then make sure that your lawyer is present at all times. A lawyer will help you to avoid some of the more obvious traps that the police set for you in the interview. It is very difficult to avoid saying something that you will later regret so take all the help you can get and be careful. Often you will not be aware of the reasons why certain questions are being asked of you. The interviewers are very skilled at what they do and they are well rehearsed in their techniques.
It is not a well known fact that when you get into court they are able to use any part of your statements against you and they can pick and choose which bits they use. Quotations from your statements often can and do get used out of context to deliberately make you look bad. You may have thought that your answers were perfectly safe at the time.
Don't be an idiot. When you get arrested don't give them anything that they can use against you. Shut up - It's that simple.
Never come in contact with a police officer
if you are in the process of being arrested by a police officer don't protest, don't shout and swear all over the place. Above all never touch the officers. Doing any of these things can get you arrested when they might not otherwise have done so. Your actions can also get you arrested for more serious charges. These add-on charges can include resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer, both of which are serious crimes. You do not want to add these charges to your arrest record but the cops will love you for it if you do. They get more points for arresting you on more serious charges.
Never refuse a lawyer
I don't know why but people often refuse legal council when they get arrested, even when it's being offered free. Innocent people often waive their right to a lawyer thinking that they have nothing to fear from the justice system. Answer all the police questions truthfully and honestly and you will be ok. After all they have nothing to hide do they? They could not be more wrong. Are the police interested in the truth? Are they motivated to find the real criminal? If you are in their custody and you are prepared to give them all the evidence that they need to convict you with then why do you think that they won't do just that?
The police want to increase their conviction rate. They have no incentive to ensure that they put the right people behind bars, despite anything that you might see in movies or on TV. They are incentivised to convict more people however.
The police are rarely your friends
When the police arrest you they are not your friend. Do not assume that they are on your side, they are not. They will do anything they can to gather evidence against you that they can use to convict you with. They won't be so willing to pursue evidence that could prove your innocence
Police investigators are well trained experts in getting you to say exactly what they want you to say. They will use their skills to get you to say something that they can use against you in court. Don't tell them anything.
Say nothing - it's your public duty
If you decide to talk to the police then you are potentially giving them evidence that they can use to convict you with. If they have that evidence against you then they will lose any incentive to look for the real criminal. If you talk to the police they might convict you and then the real offender will be left free to commit more crimes. It is your public duty to prevent this from happening. Make the police do the job that you think you are paying them for and find the truth instead of making it up.
Do you have any active arrest warrants
Arrests can often be avoided by handing yourself in before the police come to for you. If you do this voluntarily and under the guidance of a lawyer then you will have a much better chance of dealing with the reason for the warrant without getting yourself arrested. You can find out if you have any active arrest warrants by using a public records investigations web site. It's inexpensive and it could save you from getting a very nasty surprise.