Hollywood, sadly, has given us the notion that being suspected of having committed a crime is a dramatic, confrontational event that leaves a huge dent upon the suspect for the rest of his life. Being arrested can be a traumatic event in your life, especially if you are not prepared for it. Of course, nobody is looking forward to being arrested, but it is more important to arm yourself with the right information than struggle with the authorities if the time comes.
To better understand how to deal with an arrest, it is important to be aware of the several myths about the police that, for so long, have been perpetuated by Hollywood and believed by so many ill-informed viewers.
Myth No. 1: It is better to give your consent to a warrantless search to show the police that you have nothing to hide.
The Truth: Giving your consent to a warrantless arrest means allowing the police to search for home for any kind of evidence, whether substantial or circumstantial, that can help the police impose charges upon you. For example, if the police are suspecting you of having committed a murder and they have found an unlicensed firearm in your custody that is similar to the one used at the scene of the crime, even if you didn’t commit the murder, they can still arrest you for owning an illegal weapon and for circumstantial evidence. Never give your consent to the police asking your permission for a search. If they cannot show you a warrant, it is most likely because they know they cannot perform the search.
Myth No. 2: You shouldn’t ask for a lawyer because the police may think you are guilty.
The Truth: Having a professional legal adviser by your side is one of the basic rights of any person who has to face the law. After all, the law is a complicated, specialized, and technical matter that not every person accused of a crime is familiar with. Besides, there is no use trying to convince the police that you are not guilty because they already think you are. If worse comes to worst, it will be the police who will be filing charges against you in court. This is why you will need a lawyer to deal with all the technical details of your arrest. Guilty or innocent, a lawyer will protect your rights.
Myth No. 3: The police will let me go if they hear what they want to hear.
The Truth: Remember, you are already guilty in the eyes of the police. This means whatever you say can be used against you before a court of law. You should be informed of this, of course, through the Miranda warning read before any sort of interrogation, but not many investigators follow this in practice. It is always better not to say anything in front of the police, at least until you have spoken with a good lawyer and has been given advice on what you can say about yourself and the case. The only thing that police officers can rightfully extract from you is your name and nothing more.