The way you react and the steps you take immediately following an arrest can make an enormous difference in the potential outcome of your case.
Be smart and protect yourself by remaining calm, self aware and mindful of details.
Keep emotions low and speak calmly and evenly with officers — Always be polite and cooperative. Even if you feel that you are suffering a gross injustice or that the situation is one big misunderstanding, keep your emotions in check, be calm and cooperate as much as possible without giving up your rights.
Give officers your name and contact information, but do not give them any further information — You have the right to remain silent. While you want to cooperate with the cops and give them your name and address, do not make any further statements without the guidance of a defense attorney. As you’ve likely heard before, anything you say can and will be used against you. Simply say that you wish to speak with your criminal defense attorney, and nothing more.
Be aware that the police may need a warrant to search you, the vehicle or the property — Do not give them permission to search your home, person, vehicle or other property. It is not in your best interests to fight them or try to prevent them from searching, but be aware that without a warrant, whatever they find will likely be thrown out as evidence since it was found illegally.
If you are suspected of a DUI, politely refuse to perform any sobriety tests — While a possible penalty may result from refusal to take a blood, urine, or breath test, there is no penalty for refusing the other tests. Those tests are difficult to pass even stone cold sober.
Pay attention to details — Get the officer’s badge number. Make a note of the police car number. Remember physical descriptions of the officers, as well as anyone in the area who may have witnessed the arrest.
Following the arrest, these details and any that your friends or other bystanders remember can make a significant difference in how your case is handled, the evidence that can be used against you and the manner in which you may be charged.
Contact an experienced defense attorney as quickly as possible. — Be proactive in seeking out quality legal representation to use the information you have kept to protect you.
At the Law Office of Barry M. Lewis, we are dedicated to providing the highest level of legal representation to individuals throughout the Chicago area. We fight for those who have been arrested, committed to ensuring their rights are protected. Call our law offices today.