Knowing your rights and what to do with them is important when you face arrest in Cleveland. The sole focus of our law firm is criminal defense. We handle drug crimes and various state and federal offenses, and we know that the critical moments during and after arrest can strongly affect the future options available to you.
So what should you do if you believe you are under criminal suspicion in Ohio?
Be polite but be quiet: The circumstances surrounding your arrest are important. If approached, stopped or pulled over by law enforcement, be polite, but remain quiet. Provide identifying information if requested but resist efforts to converse with police. If police suspect your involvement in illegal activity, freely providing information will likely not help you — but may help police form probable cause to arrest you. You have the right to refuse to answer questions.
Just say no: If law enforcement arrives at your doorstep and requests permission to look around your house, just say no. If police are asking, it probably means they do not yet have a warrant. While being questioned or stopped by police is nerve-wracking, do not be chatty and overly obliging. If police ask to search your house or car, you have the right to say no.
Stay calm: While police have the right to stop you, you must usually be arrested and read your Miranda Rights when being transported by police to a booking facility. If you are arrested, remain quiet. Efforts you make to prove your innocence could lead to further incrimination. Anything you say can — and will — be used against you. If arrested, you have the right to refuse to answer questions, so exercise that right.
Get help: The right to legal counsel is important. Do not answer any questions by law enforcement until you have an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side.
No one starts the day expecting arrest. In Cuyahoga County, if you end up at the Corrections Center, contact our law firm. After arrest, we can help you with what comes next.