If you or a loved one has been arrested, it is vitally important that they seek immediate legal representation. The first 24 hours following contact between law enforcement and their arrestee can be the most anxious time in their lives.
Once police contact you, do not allow them to search your pockets, bag, phone, or vehicle. Instead, remain polite and request legal representation as soon as possible in a calm voice.
Time between first contact with police and being taken in for arraignment can be one of the most stressful, anxiety-inducing periods of your life, especially if this is your first arrest.
Be polite when refusing to speak with police and quickly request an attorney. Do not allow police officers to discourage or delay your request in hopes that you’ll become discouraged and give up.
Do not consent to searches of your pockets, bag, phone, car, or home. Even seemingly innocent comments could become admissions that could contribute towards a conviction of you and/or those around you. Everything that happens or is said can be used against you; and any statements made under duress could prove fatal to your case.
Even if you know that you didn’t commit the offense for which you’ve been arrested, resisting arrest will only make things worse. Resisting arrest is considered its own crime with potentially severe penalties attached.
Police officers are constantly vigilant, and any seemingly harmless movement or reaction could be misinterpreted as resistance by them and result in additional charges against you. Even simply tensing up or turning around could be seen by them as sign of resistance that warrants further charges being levied against them.
Instead, politely request to speak to your lawyer in a calm and respectful manner before politely refusing any searches of your home, car, pockets, bags, texts messages, email or voicemails by the police. While this won’t stop them searching them altogether it should at least help prevent additional charges being added on top of existing arrest.
Don’t Talk to the Police
Many believe that talking to police will help them avoid arrest, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Police officers are experts at interrogation and will do anything they can to force confessions or admissions from you.
Friendly dialogue such as, “Do you mind answering some questions for me?” or “Are you certain this is how it happened?” can lead to offhand statements that may later be used against you in court proceedings.
No matter the circumstances of the crime or even if you feel you have nothing to hide, do not speak with police directly. Without legal representation present, any statements you make can be used against you later; to safeguard your own interests best invoke your right to silence and request legal advice immediately.
Don’t Make Any Incriminating Statements
Even what seems like harmless statements made during an arrest or booking can be used against you as evidence against you or an admission of guilt against you. Don’t fall for their charming tactics — and don’t fall into their trap.
Once at the police station and after going through all of the usual arraignment procedures (fingerprints, photos and safety checks), inform an officer that you want to remain silent and request that a lawyer be present – they must stop interrogating you once they hear this request!
If they violated your constitutional rights, a civil claim could be brought against them that could lead to significant awards of damages.
Get a Lawyer
Over eighty charge (also known as DUI or DWI) can have serious repercussions that will linger into your future, even if this is your first offense. Consult a lawyer immediately after being accused and take it seriously if this is your first offence.
Engaging an experienced attorney from the beginning is crucial in order to preserve evidence for trial, and also ensures that police do not violate your Charter rights during their investigation.
Hiring an attorney as soon as possible also has other advantages: your memory will still be fresh, and any details crucial to the outcome of your case won’t fade or disappear over time, harming your defence strategy and rendering your defence futile.