Criminal justice is a popular subject in popular culture (think cops and robbers), so most Americans are exposed to a lot more of the Hollywood version of things than the reality. Unfortunately, that means that a lot of people have some misconceptions about how things are if they ever do get arrested. Here are some of the most commonly held misconceptions about getting arrested.
1) FALSE: Cops have to read you your rights. In just about every movie or TV, when someone gets arrested you can count on hearing, “You have the right to remain silent…” But actually, police don’t have to read you your Miranda Rights when you’re arrested, just before being interrogated. And even if they don’t, all it means is that the prosecutor can’t use what you said in court.
2) FALSE: Everyone gets one call. Actually, there’s no law on the books that says the police have to give you a phone call when you’re arrested. This varies state by state, and most will at least let you contact a lawyer or bail bonds agent, but the proverbial “one phone call” is just a myth.
3) FALSE: You should always cooperate with the police. In the movies, cops will tell suspects that if they tell them what they want to hear, they’ll let them off easy. In real life, this is never a good idea. The job of the police is to get people in front of a prosecutor, no more or less, and they’ll do everything in their power to get that to happen. The Fifth Amendment exists for a reason. The best, only thing you should ever say to the cops when you’re getting arrested or questioned is, “I want to speak to a lawyer.”
4) FALSE: Undercover cops have to identify themselves. There’s an old urban legend that says if you ask an undercover office whether or not they’re, well, an undercover cop, they’re bound by law to tell the truth. This is completely false. If someone asks a cop on an undercover assignment if they’re police, the only answer they’re likely to get is, “no.”
5) FALSE: If you’re innocent, you don’t have anything to worry about. Again, the primary concern of the police is to get people in front of the prosecutor, whose primary concern is getting people convicted. More often than not, it’s guilty people who end up in jail. But sometimes innocent people do too. That’s why it’s important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible, avoid incriminating yourself by talking without one, and get out of jail as soon as possible.
If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, keep all this in mind and go through the experience with a better understanding than a lot of other people. Get in touch with a lawyer, and if you’re anywhere in New Jersey get in touch with Chance BailBonds LLC. We’ll get you out of jail as soon as possible, at any hour of the day or night. Then, you can focus on your defense and staying free.