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After an arrest, call a criminal attorney
Philippine News Tuesday, April 10 2012
Many do not understand is the consequence of calling the police.
After an arrest, call a criminal attorney
When someone calls the police, there will likely be an incident report and an arrest can occur. The public is always afforded the right to call the police. 911 is a service meant for emergencies. It should be reserved for reporting a crime in progress, situations in which imminent danger to human life or other incidents deemed as emergencies exist. However, there are situations when individual(s) call the police as a means to instill fear in the recipient. We have heard it many times, “if you do not stop, I will call the police.” What many of us do not understand is the consequence of calling the police.
I have a client now who has never been in trouble with the law until his daughter called the police and indicated to the responding officers that “he is afraid of his father and that he had a knife.” The facts are far from the truth. But as a result of this statement, his father is being criminally prosecuted for the charge of ‘criminal threats’ which could be filed as a felony or misdemeanor. Because of the gravity of the threat and the charge itself, many prosecuting agencies, will not dismiss this charge even with a recanting victim.
When the police are called to investigate a crime, especially incidences defined in the category of family violence (domestic violence, criminal threats, assault), it is likely that someone will be arrested. Even if the individual who first called the police changes his or her mind and tells the officers that the call should not have been placed, it will not matter. The moment law enforcement becomes involved, the case “takes a life on its own.” The caller becomes merely a “witness.”
Once the first call is made and the police are involved, it is only the prosecuting agency and the judge who have any control over the charges. For example, in a domestic violence case, the partner who made the call cannot tell the police that he/she does not wish to “press charges” or “drop the charges” because nothing happened or he/she stopped as soon as the police arrived.
Once the police arrive, they will begin their investigation. They will ask questions to uncover the chain of events that led to the call for their help. They will question each partner (and all witnesses who were present or observed anything), individually and out of the presence of the others to insure each party feels comfortable to tell the truth. The officers will generally ask the same questions in order to expose any lies or discrepancies in the individual accounts.
In addition to questioning the parties at the scene, the police will conduct a visual sweep of the scene for evidence. Since the area is a crime scene, a search warrant will generally not be mandatory. As such, a search of the location will be completed without the prerequisite authorization from the residents. All firearms will be removed from the home and a restraining order may be executed without a court order and issued at the scene.
If you are the accused, it is impossible to talk yourself out of trouble and being arrested. The best advice is to politely deny making any statements and indicate that you want an attorney present before answering any questions. As I have indicated in many of previous articles, you do not have the experience and the expertise to get yourself out of trouble. The police, on the other hand, are well-qualified to ask the questions relevant to insure arrest and prosecution.
It is human nature to try to defend oneself by explaining one’s actions, but it is essential not to reveal anything that may inadvertently be incriminating. The accused must not make any admissions, even if that means being arrested, as one’s silence cannot be used against the accused in court.
As I noted above regarding my client, that first call that his daughter made have placed her father in clear jeopardy of having a criminal conviction. It is not a simple matter when individuals result to calling the police because they are temporarily “mad” at someone—the situation must rise to an emergency situation that is real and life threatening.
It becomes critical that contacting a compassionate yet aggressive defense attorney becomes the first step in insuring that the accused is guaranteed that his/her story is adequately and correctly represented to the prosecutor and judge.