If you should ever find yourself under arrest, you will naturally feel anxious and somewhat frightened. These emotions are entirely natural, but don’t let them run away with you. Your behavior at a time like this could make or break your case. Keep the following tips in mind and try to stay as calm as you can.
If Nevada law enforcement takes you into custody, they obviously suspect you of having committed a crime. Do not fight the arrest. You may be completely innocent, but any resistance on your part will do you no good and could even encourage the use of force against you. Just remain polite and cooperative. Anything you do at this point is bound to end up in the police report.
Are You Actually Under Arrest?
Detention and arrest are two different things. While Nevada police can detain you for a short time on suspicion, they need probable cause to arrest you. The distinction is important, for once the police have made an arrest, your situation will change in a hurry. If you’re not sure, ask.
Insist Upon Your Right to the Legal Representation of a Criminal Defense Attorney
When you find yourself officially under arrest, detectives will soon be asking questions. Do not give them any answers. It is far too easy to incriminate yourself. Even a statement that seems perfectly innocent on its face can turn to your disadvantage. The Fifth, Sixth and 14th Amendments all protect your right to remain silent until you’ve obtained an attorney.
You might think that you can talk you way out of an accusation. You might even think that by refusing to answer their questions, you’ll only make your situation worse. Neither of these is true. You must speak to no one without a criminal defense attorney present.
Never Admit to Guilt
If you are guilty and you know it, keep it to yourself. It does you no good to admit it. It won’t win you any points with law enforcement and will surely land you in an untenable position. This sort of thing can inadvertently occur if you fail to understand the situation. You may in fact believe that you are admitting to a lesser crime when the accusations against you are far more serious. Detectives will naturally assume that your admission of guilt applies to the actual accusation.
Act As If You’re Always Being Watched
Surveillance cameras are commonplace these days. It’s easy to forget that they exist at all, but when you are under arrest, you must always assume that someone is watching your actions. This is particularly true in the interrogation room. Detectives will frequently leave you there alone while they view your behavior on a screen outside, hoping that something you do will give away your guilt.
Watch What You Say to Others
If your arrest should lead to incarceration, your private conversations will be everybody’s business. Those in charge will monitor and often record your phone calls. Be sure to keep your language noncommittal, and don’t think you can fool anyone by using code words or speaking in a foreign tongue. Detectives are familiar with such strategies, and there might be no better means of self-incrimination.
Keep Your Writings Under Wraps
When you are in a Nevada jail, written communications with your lawyer will be the only ones certain to escape scrutiny. Corrections officers cannot interfere with them, so if you must communicate with your legal team by snail mail, be sure to identify the correspondence by writing “Legal Mail: Attorney/Client” on the envelope. Unfortunately, your personal mail will not get a similar pass. Officers at the detention center will open and read these letters, so be sure to keep their contents neutral. Warn those with whom you communicate to do the same.
Always Come Clean to Your Attorney
Unless they know the truth, your criminal attorneys cannot provide you with the best possible representation. Don’t be afraid to tell them everything you know. Remember that anything you tell your lawyers is confidential. They cannot legally repeat anything that you’ve said and may only do so if that information can assist in your defense. Above all, keep it honest. If you distort the truth or leave out any salient facts, you will impede their ability to represent you. Even worse, your deception could lead them to take a course of action that will only hurt you in the end.
Stay Out of Trouble Before Your Trial
If you’re lucky enough to get out of jail prior to your hearing, be sure to conduct yourself with dignity. During this critical time, your criminal attorneys will be working to get your charges reduced or even dropped. If you associate with questionable people or engage in criminal activity while out on bail or bond, you will undermine everything that they are trying to do.
Remember, a criminal charge is just an accusation. It is not a conviction. Unless you have made the mistake of confessing, the prosecution must prove all allegations. A good criminal attorney can get the charges reduced or have them dismissed entirely. By following the tips above, you can help your attorney help you.
If you’re being charged with a crime, contact the experienced attorneys at Weiner Law Group immediately at 702-202-0500 or fill out our contact form.