Following is a list of things you should avoid doing if you are suspected of a crime.

1) Allowing a search and seizure at your home. Police cannot search your house without a warrant. You have the right to say no to the search if they simply ask. Don’t consent to a search of your home, luggage or other personal property without a warrant.

2) Giving a voluntary statement. You do not have to give a statement just because police ask. You have the right to remain silent – and that is what you should do when you’re arrested.

3) Not being courteous with the police. You should not be rude if you are pulled over or being investigated. This just escalates the situation, which is not good. You may even end up being injured or shot. If you see cops doing something that is unlawful, that is not the time to raise the issue with the police. Tell your lawyer about it and let them raise the issue in court.

4) Resisting arrest. This is a big mistake – don’t do it. Just submit to the arrest. If it’s an unlawful arrest, your lawyer will deal with it later. You may even be able to bring a civil action against the police later.

5) Voluntarily giving samples of your blood, saliva or breath. You do not have to take a breathalyzer test or give samples of your blood or saliva when the police ask you. Just say no.

6) Submitting to a polygraph test. These tests are not reliable – that is why they are not admissible in court. If asked, just refuse to take the test.

7) Not telling your lawyer all of the facts. Your lawyer will not make any judgments about you based on what you tell them. I have seen it all and heard it all – and I never judge people. I’m here to help you, but I can’t do that properly if you don’t tell me all of the facts.

8) Waiting until the last minute to hire a lawyer. When you get arrested, you can’t sit there and hope it will go away – because it won’t. Hire a lawyer as soon as you are arrested. The earlier that your lawyer gets involved, the better work they can do to get you out of the criminal justice system.

9) Choosing a lawyer who is not a specialist in criminal defense law. About 95% of my practice has been criminal defense since I started 21 years ago. This is all that I do now. Don’t make the mistake of hiring your friend’s divorce lawyer or a personal injury attorney or any other type of attorney. You need a lawyer who knows the criminal justice system, knows the prosecutors and really knows how to try a criminal case in front of a jury.