Philadelphia, PA criminal defense attorney Brian Fishman talks about the most common mistake people make when questioned about, or charged with a crime?
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The most common mistake that people make when they’re arrested is that they talk to the police and that they say things that they thing are going to help them and they are not helping them. It’s very important that people who were involved in some sort of criminal investigation and who were perhaps potentially either be investigated or have been arrested for a criminal offense, it’s very important that they don’t do things post crime that make them look guilty. And what I mean by that is if police approach you on the street and you have narcotics or a firearm on you, you shouldn’t run. Because if you run people are going to assume that the person who’s running is guilty. If you throw something they’re going to, obviously, assume that you’re trying to get that item off of your person because you had it hidden on you and you don’t want them to see it.
So people often act in a guilty way and it ends up hurting them. I always tell clients, obviously, I don’t want you in possession of a gun, I don’t want you in possession of drugs but if you are in possession of some sort of illegal substance or contraband and the police approach you, let the police pat you down. Let them put you up against the car and frisk you. Let them search you. They’re going to recover the firearm; they’re going to arrest you whether you run or not. At least you give me a fighting chance in court to say that when the police approached all they had was a radio call that was very ambiguous and they didn’t have enough to approach you and stop you and frisk or search you.
So I always tell clients it’s very important that you not do things that ultimately end up helping the police officers case. And I know that that’s counter intuitive to people because their first reaction is they want to get away from the scene, they think they’re gonna somehow, you know, jump over a fence and the officers aren’t going to be able to catch them. But that very rarely happens and you’re better off letting the police violate your rights and let me make that argument in court for you.