What To Do If You're Detained By The Police

By Kristine J. Zajac, Esquire

Q. If the police come to me and want to question me about my alleged involvement in a crime what should I do?

A. You should not speak with the police about your possible involvement in a crime unless you have an attorney present. The police are looking to place blame for a crime on you and hence are not your "friends". The police cannot offer you immunity for being prosecuted for a crime. Many times the police will make false promises and lie in order to gain cooperation from you. Do not be deceived!

Q. I know a lot of people that are illegal in this country, what should one of us do if we're put in jail?

A. Try and post bail right away before the immigration authorities find out about you. Also, as stated previously, don't talk to the police, they are not paid to be your friend or to help you out. The are paid and trained to manipulate you so that they can get incriminating information from you. If you cannot post bail, contact an immigration and criminal defense attorney right away.

Additional comment: Don't have anything hanging from your rearview mirror. This creates a valid legal reason for the police to stop you in your car and inquire further.