Being arrested can be a very traumatic experience, particularly when you don’t understand your rights. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they are arrested is trying to talk their way out of being taken into custody. Many people go right into their stories about what happened, trying to explain that they were in the wrong place at the right time or that the entire situation was all a misunderstanding.
Keep mum until your attorney arrives.
If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, the best thing that you can do is remain silent about what happened. Inform the arresting officer that you would like to make a phone call as soon as possible so that you can speak to an attorney, who will help you prepare for court.
Know your rights!
Once a suspect is in police custody and about to be questioned, the Miranda rights are read. The Supreme Court requires that suspects are informed about their right to silence, their right to a lawyer, including a public defender, their right to wave their Miranda rights and that anything that they say to their investigators under questioning following their detention can be used in court.
Stay alert when you speak!
Anything that you say to a police officer or investigator prior to being taken into custody and read the Miranda rights can be used in a court of law, including anything that you say to an officer without being prompted first. This includes interviews in which a person is free to leave the premises and converses at the alleged crime scene. Police officers do not have to read the Miranda rights to request basic identification.
Your Miranda rights continue to protect you even if you waive them following an arrest. You have the right to stop answering questions and request a lawyer at any point during an interrogation.