You’ve Been Arrested, Now What?
Fear. Anxiety. Anger. Frustration. These are all common emotions people experience after an arrest. If you are arrested for any type of crime — state or federal — it is important that you remain calm. The decisions you make once you are under the supervision of the criminal justice system have a serious impact on the outcome of your case, and ultimately, your freedom and your future. Following your arrest, it is essential to follow these steps:
- Know your rights — When police arrest you, they must read you your Miranda rights — your right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination and your right to legal counsel. Immediately after being arrested, it is of the utmost importance that you invoke both of these rights. If police question you, you are not required to speak — remain silent until your lawyer arrives.
- Request a lawyer — Just as your first phone call should be to a doctor after suffering an injury, your first call after being arrested should be to an experienced defense lawyer. He or she can immediately review your case, explain the charges against you and begin building a strategic defense aimed at safeguarding your freedom.
- Tell your attorney everything — Your lawyer is your ally. It is therefore imperative that you tell him or her everything about the events leading up to your arrest. Remember, no detail is too small — let your lawyer decide what is and is not important in your case.
You are not alone. Further, your case is not open and closed. A skilled lawyer can protect your rights and help you fight back.