Do not speak with the police.

This point is essential, and well known to much of the public, but it is amazing how rarely it is exercised.  When approached and asked questions by the police, many people opt to try and explain themselves.  There is nothing you can gain by giving the police information, as any statements you make can be used against you in criminal proceedings.

Consult with an experienced criminal attorney.

If you even suspect that you are the subject of a police investigation, you should contact an attorney right away.  Those first initial steps you take before and after being charged are critical and can make a huge impact on your case, for better or worse.

Do not consent to anything.

The U.S. Constitution strictly limits the ability of law enforcement to search for evidence in private places.  Police cannot search your person, your car, or your home without meeting specific legal conditions. Police often attempt to conduct searches based on consent.  Do not consent to anything.

If you are arrested…

The above pointers continue to apply.  When the police come to arrest someone, it is scary, but it does not mean they have a case against you.  Police detectives will use this intimidating process to lure information out of you.  That is exactly what they want – more information to build their case.  Exercise your rights.

You should also resist the urge to talk about the charges against you with other inmates, who may relate what you say to law enforcement officials.  You and your family members also need to be mindful when talking over the phone while you are in jail.  The police record every phone conversation and may use those conversations to help build their case.