Interaction with law enforcement can happen in many ways. I have clients stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs and I have clients charged with embezzlement. While these crimes are different, some of the basic human responses to a threat of arrest are similar.
On a Sunday in February 2013, police attempted to pull over a man for a minor traffic infraction. Instead of stopping, the suspect drove on, eventually careening off the road and striking and causing a light pole to fall. The suspect exited the vehicle, tried to run and was apprehended. The man was charged with marijuana possession, driving on a suspended license, fleeing and eluding police — and a seat belt violation. Obviously, things became much worse when this fellow chose not to stop.
With that in mind, consider these tips if you are under suspicion for any crime:
Do not run: If there are flashing lights in the rear view mirror — or you receive word of a possible indictment — do not flee. With police behind you, pull the car over and stop. If you hear serious criminal charges are imminent, do not leave the area. Despite the eventual outcome of the O.J. Simpson trial almost 15 years ago, Mr. Simpson created an indelible image of himself as he fled in slow motion from Los Angeles police in his white Bronco. If you are aware of charges before they are laid, immediately contact an experienced criminal defense law firm.
Do not act: If confronted by police, do not try to flush evidence down a toilet, throw it out a window or otherwise destroy evidence police are looking for. The same goes for incriminating documents and email.
Do not talk: Many a defendant makes things worse by trying to explain their position. Be polite, provide identifying information and nothing else. With any criminal charge — leave the talking to your lawyer.
If you are arrested, contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.