Criminal defense attorney here. Allow me to share with you my personal top ten “don’t do these when being arrested” moments, all of which I have personally had to deal with from clients.
- Don’t resist arrest. When the handcuffs come out, you cannot talk your way out of the situation any more; cooperate, and things will be much better for you.
- Resist the temptation to “explain yourself” to the officer on your drive to the station. They are recording you — and this can be used against you. Just be quiet.
- If you are being arrested for drunk driving, don’t refuse the intoxilyzer test. You will likely be much worse off for a refusal than a bad test number. Implied consent will screw you.
- Please remember to exercise your right to remain silent. There is nothing you can say that will help you in a meaningful way. Just stop talking.
- No one likes the guy who threatens to sue everyone in sight. Just request an attorney and stop talking.
- Routine booking questions don’t fall into the category of custodial interrogations, so please don’t refuse to give officers your real name. In many jurisdictions this can be a separate offense.
- For the love of all that is holy, do not use the following phrase when interacting with the police: “I’m drunk.” It is even less helpful when shouted at the top of your lungs.
- Do not, under any circumstance, ask the officer if he or she can “look the other way just this once” while holding out money in your hand.
- Sadly, most officers do not appreciate sarcastic remarks or observations about their weight or intelligence. Surprisingly, sentencing judges don’t particularly care for it either.
- Officers are not scared of attorneys. Don’t think that name dropping or threats of lawsuits will get an officer to leave you alone. Pro tip: it won’t.