What should I do after I have been arrested in Oklahoma?
Hire an Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney: Immediately and BEFORE you make any Statements. You have a constitutional right to remain silent and a right to counsel. If you know you are being investigated, hire and attorney prior to Arrest. Call Compton Law at 405-542-2529, if we can’t help you we can recommend someone that can. contact us today or call 405-542-2529 (542-CLAW).
AT MINIMUM: If you are placed under arrest, it is important that you do not resist arrest, as your resistance can only lead to further criminal charges and additional complications. Rather, be cooperative but protect your right to remain silent. Do not say anything to investigators or police without first consulting your attorney. Ask to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can provide skillful legal counsel from the outset of your case and can help you avoid making critical mistakes that could jeopardize your defense.
Be polite and respectful with police: Being rude and argumentative will not help you at this point – and if you disrespect or upset the police officer you are only making things worse. There is no need to complain about the stop or arrest or ague with the police. You need to stay calm and control your emotions.
Ask if you are under arrest: If you are under arrest, you have the right to be notified of why you have been arrested. Also ask for the officer’s name and badge number and remember the patrol car number if possible.
Do NOT give a voluntary statement: You are NOT required to talk to the police when questioned about a crime. Exercise your rights because you cannot be prosecuted for refusing to give a statement, but you can be prosecuted for giving a false or misleading statement. If you give a statement, it can be used against you. The Miranda warnings do NOT apply to voluntary statements. If you are not under arrest or otherwise “in custody,” then those statements can be used against you even without reading the Miranda warnings (“your rights”) to you. Anything you say likely will be tape recorded or videotaped with or without your knowledge. To avoid problems and legal fees later, don’t give any voluntary statements. Likewise, do NOT discuss facts of an alleged crime with family members, friends, co-workers, spouses, children, your accountant, etc. There is no privilege to protect your statements to these persons, so exercise your right to silence. In the vast majority of cases, giving a statement to the police only serves to either secure a confession or give them the evidence needed to arrest you…whether you realize it or not.
NEVER resist arrest or touch the officer: Resisting arrest will never ever help you and it will only add more charges and make your legal situation more difficult and costly for you and your lawyer. Never touch or threaten the officer, as the police will add “assault & battery on an officer” charges, which alone carries significant punishment. Do NOT run. If you run, innocent or not, the jury can be told you fled the scene. Moreover, if someone is injured or killed in your pursuit you can be criminally and civilly liable.
Do NOT interfere with or obstruct the police but don’t Assist: Don’t consent to a search, but do not interfere either. You do not have to confront the officer to protect your rights, it is easy enough to say I”I understand you have to do your job, but I do not consent to a search.” On the other hand, you do not want to interrupt or interfere with the officer while he/she is interviewing others or searching. Generally speak only when asked (see above–do not give a voluntary statement) and do not assist in showing items or documents or explaining what happened. Do NOT attempt to obstruct the officers in their duties or to destroy evidence or contraband. Interfering or obstruction an officer in his official duty is a separate crime.
Do NOT allow searches or seizures: The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. Unless an officer presents proper credentials and a search warrant, NEVER allow any search of your body, home, garage, business, computer, car, boat or other dwelling or conveyance or property. ONLY when the police have a valid search warrant signed by a judge is it appropriate to give permission to search. If there is a warrant, ask to read the papers before granting permission so that you know the scope of the warrant. Then ask the officers if you may watch as they search and ask to call your lawyer before the search. You never know whether your spouse, children or perhaps a friend or acquaintance (or even a stranger) may have placed or left contraband or other evidence of a crime in or on your property. Police Officer’s are very well trained in attempting to overcome your initial denial of consent to search… they may use psychological tools and say things such as “it’s just a quick look and we’ll get you out of here,” or “set tight and we’ll take a quick look, you don’t mind, do you,” “since you have X, you don’t mind if I check out to see if you have Y,” “only guilty people don’t let us search and since you have noting to hide you don’t mind if we take a quick peek.” Be mindful of these tricks and maintain your position that “you understand they must do their job but you cannot consent to a warrantless search.”
Do NOT give any samples–Body Fluids, Blood, Fingerprints, Handwriting Samples, Clothing or Shoes, etc.: The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination. Just like a search, NEVER voluntarily give these samples. If asked to give these samples, call Compton Law immediately at 405-542-2529. Do NOT give samples (1) without obtaining a lawyer to represent your interest, or (2) without a court order. If you have been ordered to provide these samples you need legal representation immediately!! First, there are situations when samples simply should not be given and second you need to ensure the samples are taken properly and potentially sent for independent analysis. Forensic testing are not without fault. We have all heard about the true numerous instances where innocent people have been wrongfully convicted and even sentenced to death on bad samples. Protect your rights and do not be one of them.
DUI/DWI CASES: under Oklahoma Law you are required to give a breath or blood test during a stop for an alcohol-related offense (DUI, DWI, or APC or an injury accident). If you refuse to give a test, it will result in loss of your driver’s license and could also impact a criminal charge. There is much more to read and learn about DUI breath test under our DUI section and in our FAQS, BLOG, and LIBRARY. However, you are required to give the STATE’S TEST, you will be notified and read some information prior to giving the STATE’S TEST. The initial breath test sample in the police car IS NOT THE STATE’S TEST and you can AND SHOULD refuse to take this test.
Do NOT take a polygraph or lie-detector test: A polygraph is NOT admissible in court. Giving a polygraph test will only serve to gather additional evidence against you and damage your case. Even if you think you have noting to hide and “pass” a polygraph, the police will not necessarily clear you. In fact, they will probably just add certain things they learned to their investigative report.
Do NOT talk to the press or give interviews: Consult your attorney BEFORE talking to the press or giving interviews. Your attorney must strategically weigh the options before commenting on the facts. There are times when it may be appropriate and recommended to cooperate with the press, but timing is everything. If contacted by media, you naturally will want to “clear” your name. Simply say “My attorney will not let me comment, thank you”
Be truthful with your attorney: Your attorney cannot help you unless the attorney knows the facts…ALL THE FACTS. It is human nature not to want to admit certain things we have done, but withholding information from your attorney is one of the most damaging things you can do to your case. Your attorney will deploy certain strategies based on what he/she has learned and what you have told. Intentional misinformation almost always comes to light down the road during the case and results in your attorney being surprised at inopportune times, such as during a hearing, deposition or trial. You’ve hired an attorney to provide the best possible defense for you and its best to fully inform that attorney so that he/she can provide the best possible strategy.
If you need an Oklahoma criminal defense attorney to represent you or a family member after an arrest, contact us today or call 405-542-2529 (542-CLAW). Read more about our team, or continue reading and researching our free legal information library, or enter live chat.