What to do when arrested in Ann Arbor

It is very important to hire an attorney if you are arrested in Ann Arbor.  A lot of times people think that everything will be okay and they won’t get in trouble if they speak with the police and try to explain the situation.  Unfortunately, that is not what happens in a lot of cases.

Why is it important to hire an lawyer after you are arrested in Ann Arbor, Michigan?

Experienced criminal defense attorneys in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and the surrounding communities will probably have a better idea with what to expect when dealing with the Ann Arbor Police Department, University of Michigan Police Department, Washtenaw County Sheriff, or even the State Police.  Each of these agencies police in their own unique ways.  Some feel that certain offenses are more serious than other offenses.

The point is that if you hire an attorney from out-of-town, they may not be aware of the what is customary in Ann Arbor.

Why is it a bad idea to speak with the police when you are arrested?

There are a few reasons.

First, the police are trained to interrogate people.  They take actual classes at the police academy on how to get information out of people. Some even take additional classes.  They are taught to ask questions in ways to get answers out of people.  Sometimes the answers you give is not what you mean, but the police don’t know that and will use those actual words against you.  Your responses might be innocent, but the police can interpret them in a different way.  If you mess up, they will use your words against you.  I wrote this twice because its very serious.

Second, the police are allowed to lie and trick you.  They will tell you that if you are innocent, then you will tell them what happened.  Another strategy is the police will tell you that this is your opportunity to explain what really happened, or that you won’t get in trouble if you tell the truth.  The point is that if you have something to explain, then its probably better for someone who has experience speaking with the police to explain on your behalf.  All too often, people say things they don’t really mean.  People slip up in their words all the time, but that doesn’t mean they did what they were accused of doing.

Third, you have Constitutional protections against self incrimination.  You have the right to remain silent.  You don’t have to tell on yourself.  You have the right to be represented by an attorney. Take these rights very seriously.

I want to cooperate, am I not cooperating by asking for an attorney or not answering questions?

No, some officers believe that if you don’t answer their questions that you are not cooperating, but that is not true and those officers are mistaken.  In fact, if you read the news you will see that when an officer is arrested, they remain silent most of time.  The police have other ways to build a case and get their evidence.  If you did what you are accused of doing, your confession is just the cherry on top.  Often times they have the evidence they need.  You are doing nothing wrong by not speaking or making a statement.  The police have a job to do, you remaining silent has nothing to do with cooperation.

We are very fortunate to live in a society where most police officers are good people.  Since most are good, we are taught to trust the police.  Trusting the police is very different than telling on yourself.

If you are arrested in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Saline, Milan, Dexter, Chelsea, Manchester, Romulus, Northville, Plymouth, or the surrounding communities in Washtenaw and Wayne Counties, then call me for a free consultation at (734) 887-6079.  I am in these courts on a regular basis and have experience with both the City Attorneys and Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys.  I will help you understand your options so you can make an educated decision.