Many people will encounter law enforcement each day, but in some instances, relatively minor infractions can escalate quickly. If you ever find yourself in trouble, your behaviors can mean the difference between a citation for a misdemeanor and a felony charge.


Being stopped by law enforcement, whether on foot or in a vehicle and fleeing the scene is a common way simple infractions escalate. You may be surprised that people will flee the scene over legal issues that sometimes only warrant a citation. Depending on your jurisdiction, simple drug possession or driving on a suspended license may not mean you are sent directly to jail—instead, you will be issued a citation to appear in court. Unfortunately, some people choose to evade, which is a major crime in itself.

Evading can quickly escalate if you have an accident or harm law enforcement during the chase. Regardless of intent, harming or killing a law enforcement official during evading will bring attempted capital murder or capital murder charges. You can also find yourself severely injured or worse since your vehicle has now become a lethal weapon. Other charges that can quickly come from eluding include child neglect or child endangerment if you elude law enforcement with children in the car.

Hiding Contraband

Sometimes people stopped for simple drug possession will eat or hide their evidence in hopes the drugs will go unnoticed. If an officer noticed you ate your drugs, they will be forced to call the ambulance, since some drugs can be life-threatening if consumed. The worst-case scenario for you is eating your drugs and it going unnoticed, then being booked into jail. Hours later, you may find yourself sick with an abnormally elevated heart rate and at risk for sudden cardiac death.

Additionally, eating your drugs, regardless of the type, can escalate the offense to a felony because you attempted to hide evidence. If you hid contraband in other body cavities and think you got away with it, think again if you are arrested. More than likely, jail officials will find your hidden drugs when doing an intake search. This means additional charges for bringing contraband into a jail, further compounding your legal issues.

Waiving Your Rights

You have a constitutional right to remain silent, but many people waive this right and talk. Regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent, you put yourself in a compromising position that may not be easy to correct. People who feel like they have nothing to hide may quickly waive their rights and talk to law enforcement, but you will leave your lawyer with little leverage if you confessed to anything. Never waive your rights and talk. It is always the best practice to ask for a lawyer promptly, even if it means you have to wait patiently in jail.

The lure of a plea bargain or other deal with the District Attorney (DA) may be used as a way to convince suspects to talk. Do not be tempted by a deal until you speak with your lawyer. The DA generally has the most discretion, ranging from whether they file charges to the extent of charges. Your lawyer, not detectives or other law enforcement, is in the best position to see if a deal is on the table before you talk. It is a common tactic for detectives to either speak of a deal or imply you could get a better deal by talking to them, but they rarely acknowledge this after they have the information they want. Even if you were guilty, you may have been in a position where there was not enough evidence to file charges or less severe charges were filed, but you talked your way into a worse situation by waiving your rights.

If you ever encounter law enforcement, making the process go as smoothly as possible is always the best strategy. You can get the help and support by contacting criminal law services such as Johnson Motinger Greenwood Law Firm.