How to get arrested.
Really? Does this need to be said?
Based on what I’ve seen lately. Definitely. Yes.
Nationwide, we are seeing civil unrest and sentiment that is widely anti-police. While there certainly are issues with policing and criminal justice in general; a lot of what happens during a police-citizen encounter has to do with how you react to that interaction.
Police are great when you need them. When, God forbid, you‘re a victim, or you’ve had a traffic accident and need assistance.
Police are not so great when you’re on the receiving end of an investigation or an arrest. The encounter can be very stressful and terrifying.
So, what do you do?
How you behave during this encounter will greatly effect the outcome.
There is a saying: you can beat the wrap but you can’t beat the ride. That is true. When police have probable cause that a crime has been committed, arguing with them is not going to get you out of it.
Arguments should be reserved for court, not alongside the road with an officer. Officers cannot turn a blind eye when they believe a crime has been committed.
Your best course of action, in terms of safety and mitigation of any criminal liability, is to be polite and comply with their commands.
This does not mean that you give up your rights and you give a confession or make statements that could hurt you later on. Exercise your rights. If you don’t wish to give a statement, then don’t.
But screaming “I ain’t talking to you!” and respectfully stating, “I would like to invoke my right to remain silent” will yield different outcomes.
This is not political. Whether you support the police or you think policing itself should be abolished, it doesn’t matter. As long as we live in a nation of laws, there will be law enforcement officers that enforce those laws.
How do you interact with them will not only improve your chances of getting out of a police encounter unscathed, it will likely result in significantly fewer charges if you are polite, compliant, and do not engage in any foolish behavior like physically fighting or refusing to comply with lawful commands. Fighting with police is a felony. Refusing to comply with a lawful command is a misdemeanor.
Furthermore, there may come a time in the course of your case where you will need the arresting officer to agree to a resolution, such as a diversion program. Florida law requires the victim’s consent, and if your charge is a crime against a police officer, or a crime in which the police officer may be given the opportunity to express their position on sentencing, you will want the officers consent so you can go into the program and get your case dismissed dismissed.
If you were polite and compliant, I can assure you that the officer will be more likely to agree to dismissal of your case.
If you treated the officer poorly, they may recommend jail or even prison time when the prosecutor calls them and asks for their opinion.
Be safe. Be smart. And exercise your rights. But always treat police officers with decency, dignity, and respect.