No one starts out for a night on the town planning to get arrested, but it can happen to almost anyone under certain circumstances. If you find yourself in handcuffs and facing a drunk and disorderly conduct charge, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Stop talking.
No one ever did themselves any damage that couldn't be undone by staying silent, but talking can make your attorney's job a lot harder. Take the right to remain silent seriously. Ask for an attorney and then say nothing more about the incident that led to your arrest to anybody.
2. Remember that the police can lie to you.
Law enforcement officers are legally allowed to lie to you. They can tell you that they have evidence they don't actually have or tell you that there are witnesses that don't exist. Don't trust a word that anyone says unless your attorney is the one saying it.
3. Be reasonably cooperative.
You don't want to compound your problems by resisting arrest, antagonizing the officer booking you or creating a scene. All that you're likely to do is irritate people. Remember that the majority of the officers are just doing their job, and they're not personally out to get you. Be polite and do as you are asked in order to make the whole experience less distasteful.
4. Don't consent to searches.
Your cooperation ends when it comes time to consent to a search. Whether the officer wants to search your pockets or search your car, don't agree to the search if asked. Just politely tell the officer that you never agree to searches on principle and leave it go at that. That will force them to justify their search to a judge -- which is something your attorney can fight. If you agree to the search, you've just thrown part of your defense out the window.
A drunk and disorderly conduct charge can be quite serious -- especially if there's property damage or a personal assault involved. If you're interested in learning more about how our firm can help you, please visit our page.