Keeping your head and keeping your wits is essential to protecting your rights after an arrest, especially during the period of time when you are in custody but have not yet consulted an attorney.
If you are subject to an arrest warrant in New York City or otherwise detained or arrested by police, you should remember the following to avoid compromising your defense or otherwise making your situation worse. Some tips regarding this include:
- Follow instructions — There is little to gain and a lot to lose from refusing to cooperate with police during an arrest. In some cases, a lack of cooperation can even lead to a charge of resisting arrest, a separate crime that can still stand even if the underlying reason for your arrest proves to be invalid.
- Be careful what you say — However, cooperating does not extend to volunteering information unnecessarily. Other than your basic identifying information, you are not obliged to answer any questions, and your refusal to answer cannot be used against you. It may be tempting to try to explain the situation, but more often than not, you only succeed in giving police evidence to use against you.
- Take note of the situation — Police procedure often figures prominently in criminal defense cases. Even experienced officers sometimes push and exceed constitutional limits during arrests and subsequent searches. When presented in court, these procedural errors can lead to exclusion of the recovered evidence. Therefore, closely watch what the police are doing during your arrest so you can accurately convey it to your attorney.
By handling your arrest properly, you can put your New York City defense attorney in a better position to defend you in court or negotiate a plea agreement on your behalf. Visit our page on what happens after being charged with a crime.