Being arrested is not anyone’s idea of a good time. Arresting someone is not even law enforcement’s idea of a good time. Police officers are doing their job. They always appreciate a suspect who is willing to help them speed up the process.
A canine officer — the one with the collar and the sharp teeth — always appreciates a human who gives him a chance to take a bite out of crime. If you insist on being helpful during your arrest, here are some things you can do.
Facial expressions that put you at risk
First, look nervously over at a clump of bushes. Police will silently thank you for indicating the location where you may have ditched evidence they can use against you in court. Also, be sure to glance at the trunk of your car a few times, especially if you would like law enforcement to search your vehicle if they have a search warrant.
Officers may appear friendly and relaxed on the outside. On the inside, they are alert and observing every single muscle twitch, eye roll or glance you make. They are watching you closely for any indication that there is a place you don’t want them to search.
Body language that puts you at risk
If you panic and run, the canine officer will chase you. He has four feet on the ground. You only have two. He won’t put you in the hospital — usually — but you may require a few stitches in case you did not stop when his partner yelled to warn you of the consequences. Running from law enforcement may add an extra charge against you.
You may decide to help police by resisting arrest. Any threatening action on your part could result in an unpleasant encounter with a taser. If the officers tell you to lay down on the sidewalk and you sit on the curb instead, you are resisting arrest. You cannot partly comply. If you do not fully comply immediately with a legitimate police order, you are guilty. Police are mentally adding up all the laws you are considerately breaking.
Cooperation that puts you at risk
When the police come to visit and knock on your door, let them in. Do not ask if they have a search warrant, because if they say no, they must stay outside, and they cannot find reasons to arrest you. If you step out onto the porch with them, they can arrest you without a search warrant. If they tell you that you must unlock your cell phone for them, that is not true, and you probably do not want to be that cooperative. Stay inside while they stay outside, where they cannot arrest you.
Since the police see that you are not coming out and they are not getting invited inside, they may politely talk to you through your screen door. You may only be under suspicion, but if you really want to help them, answer their questions. They can still use anything you say against you. You will not be uncooperative when they ask a question if you say these words: “I want to remain silent.” After that, you do not have to say a word, no matter what the police tell or ask you. But you aren’t making their job easy when you use your right to remain silent. You can consult a legal professional; now might be a good time to do that while the unhappy officers leave to get a search warrant.