5. If the police are searching your car or home, don’t look at the places you wish they wouldn’t search. Don’t react to the search at all, and especially not to questions like “Who does this belong to?”
6. Don’t resist arrest. Above all, do not push the police or try to push their hands away. That would be assaulting an officer and any slight injury to them will turn your minor offence into something more serious. Obviously, striking an officer can result in serious injury to you as well.
7. Don’t mouth off to the police. Police have a lot of discretion in what charges are brought.
8. Do not believe what the police tell you in order to get you to talk. There are many ‘deals’ you could be offered in order to make you talk. A very common claim made my clients is that the policeman said he would let me out on bail if I made a statement. If you make a statement full of admissions you are probably less likely to get bail, not more likely. ALWAYS EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO A LAWYER.
9. Don’t let them in (unless they have a warrant or tell you they have a lawful reason to search) If at home, do not invite the police into your home as this gives them the power to search. If the police have a warrant, do not obstruct them. If an offence has recently been committed and the police have reasonable grounds to suspect you are involved, they can arrest you and search your home or the parts of the home you occupy if in shared accommodation.
10. Don’t delay. If the police are looking for you or inviting you to come to the station for a ‘chat’ call me NOW. Some quick intervention from a skilled lawyer could have a huge impact on your life. We deal with police officers every day, you don’t.
That’s it: Ten simple rules that will leave as many of your rights intact as possible if you are arrested.
Contact my office so that I can help you stay out of jail. 09 308 9446, 09 263 0453