December 15, 2020 | Criminal Defense
Being arrested can be a frightening and traumatic experience. It can be difficult to know what you should do after being arrested. One thing you need to understand is that the police officers and the prosecutor believe you are guilty.
Therefore, trying to talk your way out of the arrest is not going to benefit you. Talking to the police or a prosecutor without a criminal defense lawyer is never in your best interest. A criminal lawyer understands the charges against you, as well as what the state must prove for a conviction.
Therefore, the first thing you should do after an arrest is to talk to a lawyer. If you cannot afford to hire an attorney, the court can appoint a public defender to represent you.
However, public defenders are often overworked and may not have experience handling the charges you face. If possible, it is in your best interest to hire a private attorney to handle your criminal case.
While you are waiting to talk to a lawyer, do not talk to the police. Do not answer questions or make a statement. Exercise your right to remain silent, no matter how much you want to plead your case or explain why you are innocent.
In addition to remaining silent except for asking for a lawyer, you need to know these things after an arrest:
Police Officers Lie to You
It is legal for police officers to lie to you. For example, they may tell you that they can help you get a better deal if you talk to them now. Police officers have no control over the prosecution of your case or the sentence given for a conviction.
Police officers often use suspects against each other. They may tell you that the other person involved in the alleged crime is confessing. The officers may be telling the other person the same thing to see if they can get one of you to talk.
Do not believe the lies. Wait for your attorney to arrive before saying anything.
Do Not Consent to a Search
You do not have to consent to a search of your person, vehicle, or home. Even if the police state they have a search warrant, you do not have to consent. You should not try to stop a police officer from performing a search, but you can state that you are not consenting to the search.
Your lawyer reviews the circumstances of the search to determine if the police officers violated your civil rights. If the police officers conducted an illegal search, all evidence from the search could be inadmissible in court.
Do Not Talk to Friends or Family Members About the Case
While you are in jail, do not discuss the case on the telephone or with visitors. The jail records all telephone calls and visits.
When you are released, do not discuss the case with anyone other than your attorney. If you discuss the case with family or friends, they could be called as witnesses at a trial.
Maintain a Low Profile
When you are out on bail, you want to work and stay home. Do not break any laws or associate with anyone who could be involved in illegal activities. You do not want to do anything that could make it more difficult to defend yourself against the current criminal charges.
Think Carefully Before Accepting a Plea Deal
The prosecutor may offer you a plea deal in your case. The deal may include pleading to a lower charge for a less severe sentence. However, the prosecutor may be offering you a plea deal because the state’s case is weak or has problems.
Before accepting a plea deal, make sure that it is the best decision for you. You might want to consult a lawyer to determine if there are defenses that could result in a dismissal of the charges.
Key Takeaways – Five Things to Do After an Arrest
There are five key things to remember after an arrest:
- Do not resist arrest as this could lead to a dangerous escalation and additional criminal charges
- Do not talk to the police officers after an arrest
- Do pay close attention to the details of your interactions with the police before, during, and after the arrest to discuss potential violations of civil rights with your lawyer
- Do not talk about your case to anyone other than your lawyer
- Do talk to a lawyer as soon as possible about the charges you face
The above do’s and don’ts after an arrest are good things to keep in mind if you are under investigation for a crime or detained by police officers. The steps you take after an arrest can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. If you remain calm and follow the above steps, you give yourself a better chance of fighting the criminal charges against you.