Do not give a statement to the police
There will be temptation on your part to try and talk your way out of an arrest. It is important to understand that the police want you to discuss the case. They want to get you talking and they will document and/or record everything you say. It is their job to gather as much information as possible and to present that information to the Solicitor for prosecution. They are talking to you for a reason and they may have already decided that you have committed a crime. Do not discuss the case and do not admit to the crime. Anything you say or write may be used as evidence against you. You have a right to remain silent and that means you are not required to answer any of the officer’s questions. As soon as possible after your arrest, tell the officer that you would like to contact your attorney.
Do not give consent to search
When police are investigating a crime, they will often ask for permission to search your person, vehicle, or home. In order to conduct a lawful search, police need probable cause, a search warrant, or your consent. It is a common myth that refusing to consent to a search will make you look guilty. This is far from the truth and if the officer is asking for permission it generally means he does not have a search warrant or probable cause. Stay calm and politely tell them that you do not consent to a search. Consenting to a search can make it difficult for your attorney from later challenging that search in court.
Provide your correct name
Under South Carolina law it is a misdemeanor to knowingly provide false identification to a police officer. The violation can result in a fine, jail time or both and it will not look good at trial. Remember, If the police ask you something, you do not have to answer. However, if you do answer, make sure you tell the truth.
SECTION 16-17-725. Making false complaint to law enforcement officer; giving false information to rescue squad or fire department; misrepresenting identity to law enforcement officer during traffic stop or to avoid arrest or criminal charge.
(A) It is unlawful for a person to knowingly make a false complaint to a law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of a crime by another, or for a person to knowingly give false information to a rescue squad or fire department concerning the alleged occurrence of a health emergency or fire.
(B) It is unlawful for a person to misrepresent his identification to a law enforcement officer during a traffic stop or for the purpose of avoiding arrest or criminal charges.
(C) A person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.
Stay calm and do not resist the officer
Even if you are innocent, it is never a good idea to resist and officer’s attempt to arrest you and it’s never a good idea to run from the police. Resisting arrest is defined as intentionally and knowingly attempting to avoid arrest by a person who is known to be a law enforcement officer. Resisting arrest is generally a misdemeanor but if the officer is injured, you could be facing a felony with significant fines and jail time. Be polite and use phrases like “Yes, ma’am” and “Yes sir”.
SECTION 16-9-320. Opposing or resisting law enforcement officer serving process; assaulting officer engaged in serving process.
(A) It is unlawful for a person knowingly and wilfully to oppose or resist a law enforcement officer in serving, executing, or attempting to serve or execute a legal writ or process or to resist an arrest being made by one whom the person knows or reasonably should know is a law enforcement officer, whether under process or not. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
(B) It is unlawful for a person to knowingly and wilfully assault, beat, or wound a law enforcement officer engaged in serving, executing, or attempting to serve or execute a legal writ or process or to assault, beat, or wound an officer when the person is resisting an arrest being made by one whom the person knows or reasonably should know is a law enforcement officer, whether under process or not. A person who violates the provisions of this subsection is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one thousand dollars nor more than ten thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.
Contact an attorney as soon as possible
With almost 30 years of combined prosecutorial experience, the partners of Kidd Corvey & Simpson law firm are dedicated to ensuring your darkest moment does not define you. Do not wait until your situation becomes more difficult to defend, call us today. From the most serious felonies to charges like DUI and other misdemeanors that can wreck your livelihood, Kidd Corvey & Simpson law firm has the skill and real courtroom experience you require. Contact us today for a free consultation.