When a person hears the words, “You are under arrest,” it can feel like the end of the world. There is an instant loss of control and freedom that comes with the click of handcuffs.
Instead of thinking of all the things that can’t be controlled, it is important to focus on what can be controlled. Here is what can be done to keep from unintentionally damaging your defense.
Before an arrest
Once a person finds themselves in handcuffs, nothing can be done about potentially incriminating or damaging photos, texts, or social media posts. Do not try to be clever or cute on social media about potentially illegal behavior. Police have welcomed social media accounts into their investigations with open arms. A social media post is not worth the price of a conviction.
During an arrest
Do not admit or deny anything, at any time. This has become common knowledge in pop culture for a reason. However, here is something that may have been overlooked. How many defendants are greeted in court with recordings of their “private” conversations from the backseat of the patrol car? Is it a mere stroke of luck that places defendant and co-defendant in the same backseat? This is a technique used to get both talking, on camera.
While in custody
Miranda rights do not stop once a person is incarcerated. Once in custody, do not write anything in outgoing mail or say anything during phone calls that wouldn’t be said directly to the prosecutor. You have the right to remain silent. Use that right.
While in jail, awaiting bail or bond, you may be tempted to share their story to a “new friend.” Jailhouse “snitches” have become an urban legend. However, desperate people are willing to do anything to get out of the uncomfortable situation that they find themselves in.
Making a bad situation worse by your own actions is unnecessarily tragic. Follow these simple suggestions, arm yourself with your legal rights and avoid facing your own words in court.