If you’ve been arrested, the best advice is to provide your name, provide your identification, and remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. See our page about the Miranda Warning for more information.
If you are going to say any more, here are five things NOT to say:
NEVER admit that you’re guilty (even if you are guilty). You’re innocent until proven guilty. You should not help the prosecution by admitting guilt. If you admit to guilt, it makes defending you more difficult.
When you apologize, you are admitting fault and this admission can be used against you. The only time to apologize is when it’s required or necessary. If you plead guilty to a crime, the judge or prosecutor may require you to write an apology letter. Your attorney may also be able to negotiate a better plea deal if you apologize, but don’t say “I’m sorry” until it’s absolutely necessary.
Let me tell you my side of the story.
Don’t talk about your arrest without a lawyer present, even if you think that it may help to explain yourself or make things seem better for you. All this will do is provide information which can be used against you in court and give the prosecution more evidence to use against you. Any statement you make will be made under stress and won’t be the best statement you can make or put you in the best light. If you work with an attorney to provide a statement, your statement will be much better.
You can search my home/car/person.
Don’t let the police search anything without a warrant. You can say “I do not consent to any searches,” or “I’m going to remain silent and speak with my lawyer.” If you allow police to search, they may search everywhere in your home (including closets, drawers, cabinets, sheds, under beds, etc.) and everywhere in your car (passenger area and trunk). It is better to require police to obtain a search warrant. This lets the judge decide if the police have probable cause to search. You won’t look bad by not consenting to the search–you’ll look smart because you know your rights.
Don’t insult the officer by calling them names like pig or fascist. This isn’t only insulting for them but it makes you look bad to the prosecutor and judge. It is better to be polite, refuse any search, and refuse to speak with them.
If you are arrested and follow our advice, you will be in a much better position to fight your case and get the best resolution.