In most criminal cases the most detrimental piece of evidence against a defendant is a voluntary statement or something found through a consent search.
BY ATTORNEY JOHN W. RODMAN
Yelling, arguing, expressing distrust or disrespect, or acting aggressive, you are merely heightening police suspicions, situational tension, and the officer's desire to hem you up.
Being courteous or polite is not the same thing as being cooperative.
DO: Speak calmly, display your open hands, avoid aggressive postures, and use respectful language like "Officer", "Sir", and "Ma'am." In short, mind your manners.
This DOES NOT MEAN that you must agree to speak or offer information.
DO: Offer your license or provide your real name and possibly your address.
You are NOT required to provide information such as where you are coming from or where you are going.
Providing false information almost never works and will result in additional charges and guarantee arrest.
Police are permitted to gather identifying information, and it is one of the only things you are required to provide police without a warrant.
Say nothing Admit to nothing
If police are speaking with you regarding an accusation, they have almost always already decided whether to arrest you. Talking will only make things worse for you, with very few exceptions.
Police know that you want to avoid arrest and use that desire to encourage cooperation with false promises in order to gather incriminating information.
Remember: Police can lie about every aspect of your situation including: (1) who your accusers are (2) that they have you committing a crime on video even though they don't (3) that they found your fingerprints or DNA at a crime scene even though they didn't (4) that they have eye witnesses who don't exist
It is not easy or common for an attorney to find grounds to suppress a person's statements to police, but it is easy for you to refuse to make that statement to begin with.
NEVER consent to such searches no matter how innocent you are or how certain you are that they will not find anything.
It is your right to decline these searches. Make police get a warrant or make their own decisions on how to proceed with a search. This puts the burden on the police to later prove the validity of their search in court.
Police will often ask for permission to: – search your person – your car – your home – your personal effects (like purses and backpacks) – perform scientific tests on you or your item
DO: Decline any and all searches politely but firmly.
You should demand a lawyer early and often if you are being questioned by police. DO: Keep it simple: "I want a lawyer." If they attempt to speak with you, simply restate your demand: "I want a lawyer.”
Even if you want to speak with the police, demand a lawyer first. Having a lawyer present can help you make sure that your story does not get misinterpreted and that you don't get tied up by confusing or misleading questions.
Saying "I think I may need to speak with an attorney" is not good enough.
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The goal is to prevent causing harm to your side of the case so that your attorney can give you your best fighting chance in court.