I Have Been Arrested. Now What Do I Do?
You have been arrested now what do you do? For many people being arrested is an experience they do not want to have again. For some people being arrested is common place and they know what to expect. For those of you who have never been arrested or were just arrested for the first time there are things you should know and do.
1. You do not have to talk to the police. Many people believe they have to talk to the police and tell them everything they can to try and get the handcuffs off. The only thing you have to tell them is name and birth date. You do not have to tell the police anything that may get you in trouble. You have a right to remain silent. Once the handcuffs are on there really isn’t anything you can say to get them off.
2. You have a right to an attorney. Police thrive on your confusion and fear. They are hoping you say or do something to incriminate yourself, it is less work for them. Once you are in handcuffs and being questioned you have a right to an attorney. Ask for an attorney. If you cannot afford one the court will appoint a Public Defender. If you can afford one and you do not already have an attorneys number in your pocket have your family call one. You will be entitled to a phone call after you are arrested. It is not uncommon in my practice to have family members call me and request I go speak to their incarcerated family member. I can be retained even if you are incarcerated.
3. Find out your bail. Many times if you are arrested there is an amount of money that can be posted to ensure your release. That amount is called bail. The amount depends on your charges. Many times if your family cannot afford to bail you out a bail bondsman can be called to help. He/she only charges a percentage of the bail to ensure your release.
4. Be proactive not reactive. All of the above are proactive measures. Don’t wait for the police to tell you what to do. They are not there to give you legal advice. Sometimes getting an attorney involved early can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
5. An arrest stays on your record until it is expunged even if found not guilty. Nothing in the law happens without action. Once arrested it goes on your record and can be found in a records check. Your arrest will need to be expunged from your record and your attorney can help.
The above 5 tips are meant to help you in the arrest process. As a criminal defense attorney in Middlesex County I know how stressful an arrest can be on my clients and their families. I have been there to help many of my clients turn themselves in. It is a very scary experience that should not happen alone, call my office today to ensure your rights are protected.