Being contacted by the police in Sugar Land, Texas is a stressful experience. If you are a suspect in a crime, the decisions you make early on can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Adam Capetillo is a Sugar Land attorney who can guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.
Below are some tips on what to do when you are contacted by the police in Sugar Land, Texas.
- Stay Calm
It can be stressful and intimidating when you are contacted by the Sugar Land police. A natural and immediate reaction can be to resist, argue, or run away. You must overcome this urge and stay calm. If you get violent or try to run away, you could end up in deeper trouble.
- Do Not Talk with the Police
You have the constitutional right to remain silent. Texas law requires that you give the officer your name, and ID, but you do not need to answer any other questions. You should politely ask the police if you are free to leave. If you are not under arrest, the police cannot detain you. If you are under arrest, you should calmly state that you will not answer any questions until your attorney is present. There is a strong likelihood that the police suspect you are part of criminal activity if they have reached out to you.
The instinct for many is to explain their side of the story or rush to cooperate. However, it is critical to understand that this is a HUGE mistake. Anything you say can be used against you. Even if you think you have nothing to hide, statements can be twisted and taken out of context. People are often surprised how seemingly innocent comments are used to arrest individuals or get a conviction. The police are not on your side, and you should not trust them if you are being investigated. They are skilled at interrogation and extracting the statements that they want.
- Ask for an Attorney
If you have been arrested, you have the constitutional right to an attorney. You should clearly state that you will not answer any questions until your criminal defense attorney is present. If you have been placed under arrest, the police must stop questioning when you ask for an attorney.
Asking for an attorney does not imply guilt and cannot be used against you in court. You should not be scared that asking for a lawyer will incriminate you. It is not a crime to have a good defense.
- Do Not Consent to a Search
You have the constitutional right against illegal search and seizures. This means that the police cannot search your body, home, or belongings unless they have a warrant, your consent, or under other limited exceptions. Law enforcement does not need to inform you of your right to refuse consent.
The police will often try to pressure you into giving consent so they can conduct a legal search. It can be intimidating to refuse the demands or questions of a Sugar Land police officer. Still, it is important to clearly state that the police do not have consent to search, even if you do not think that there is incriminating evidence.
However, law enforcement may pat you down for weapons to maintain officer safety. This is not considered a search and you must comply. The pat-down must be over your clothes and they are not allowed to reach into any pockets or bags.
- Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
As soon as you are contacted by the Sugar Land police, you should reach out to a local criminal defense attorney. Unlike the police, your criminal defense attorney is on your side. The defense attorney’s job is to protect your rights. Being proactive and speaking to an attorney early in the process can make a big difference in your case and the preparation of your defense.
An attorney can contact the police or district attorney and find out the reason why the police contacted you. They can determine whether you are a suspect in a case or a potential witness or if you have any open warrants for your arrest. An experienced attorney will be able to counsel you on your next steps and take away some of the fear that you are experiencing.
If you and your attorney decide that you should speak to the police, they can be present to ensure that your rights are not violated and that you do not say anything that will harm your case.
Your Sugar Land Criminal Defense Attorney
If you, or a loved one, has been contacted by the police, you should reach out to an experienced and client-focused Sugar Land criminal defense attorney. Adam Capetillo is a Fort Bend County native who will protect your rights and provide a skilled and aggressive defense. Call Capetillo Law Firm today for a free consultation.