Facing an arrest is never an easy situation. If this is your first time getting arrested, you likely have many questions about the process and what to expect. At the same time, you want to know what you should and should not do in order to make the process faster, easier, and most importantly, come to a favorable outcome.
- Pay Attention to Your Miranda Warnings: When an officer places you under arrest, he or she must read you your Miranda rights. Miranda warnings are the reminder of your legal rights that protect you under the constitution. These include the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during police questioning. Keep in mind that anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. It is usually best to seek legal representation before you speak with police.
- Do Not Resist Arrest: If you have prior legal problems or have a warrant, it may be your instinct to try to run away. Resisting arrest will almost always end with your capture and when it does, you will be facing additional charges. Be honest with law enforcement and provide them with the correct name and other information when they inquire. You do not need to face more charges and you do not want to show the court that you are not respectful of the enforcement officers.
- Follow Directions: The police will give you directions and you should obey them quickly and effectively. Now is not the time to argue with the police about your arrest. It will only irritate the officer and make things more difficult. Avoid getting angry, since this will not serve you well through the process.
- Do Not Talk to Others: Do not discuss the details of your case, or your guilt or innocence, with others. Keep in mind that jails often have surveillance equipment in use, so do not talk about the case. Instead, wait to talk to your attorney. Conversations between you and your attorney are privileged and the jail should have an area where you can securely discuss the situation in private.
- Obtain Legal Assistance: It is best to obtain legal help as soon as possible. Your attorney will help you navigate your case and will provide you with some guidance. Sometimes your attorney will be able to help reduce or even eliminate your charges at the onset of your case. Before you enter a plea in front of the judge, consult with your attorney. Often, the best option is to plead not-guilty, which will result in a hearing and trial.
- Do Not Expect a Plea Deal without an Attorney: Your lawyer will negotiate with the state’s attorney and when possible, may be able to obtain a plea deal. Do not accept a plea arrangement until you understand the pros and cons from your lawyer. A plea deal may allow you to plead guilty to lesser charges, however, keep in mind that you will still have a criminal conviction on your record.
The arrest process is not always straightforward. If you were arrested, you need immediate help from a qualified attorney. Get the legal help you need from Henderson Legal Group with an initial case consultation today.