What to Do If You Are Arrested

Last Modified: June 7, 2024
By: James HansenJune 2, 2024 |
What to do if you are arrested

Being arrested can be a confusing and stressful experience, but knowing what to do can substantially impact the outcome.

First and foremost, it's important to stay calm and remember that you have rights designed to protect you. Your actions and words during the arrest can affect your case, so it's important to be mindful. Knowing the process and your rights can help you navigate the situation more effectively.

At Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers, we encourage our clients not to resist arrest but to cooperate with the police officer. At the same time, you need to know your rights and remain silent.

Learn more about what to do if you are arrested below. Then, contact us to schedule a case consultation.

Stay Calm and Composed

When the police execute an arrest warrant, staying calm is one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself. Panicking or becoming aggressive can lead to more problems, including additional charges like resisting arrest.

Take deep breaths and focus on the fact that you can speak with a family member or a lawyer soon. Staying composed also helps you to remember important details about your arrest, which can be important for your defense.

Understand Your Rights

Understand your rights

Every person has rights under the law, even when they are being arrested. Knowing these rights can protect you from potential abuses and ensure your case is handled fairly.

Make sure to exercise these rights, and if you feel they are being violated, report it to your lawyer as soon as possible. Remember, asserting your rights is a legal way to protect yourself.

The Right to Remain Silent

You have the right to remain silent, and it is often wise to use it. This means you do not have to answer any questions about the incident from the arresting officer or anyone else.

State, "I am exercising my right to remain silent." This can prevent you from inadvertently providing information that could be used against you, even if the police also have probable cause and a search warrant.

The Right to an Attorney

You also have the right to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you request a lawyer, the police should stop questioning you until your attorney arrives. This right is essential because a criminal defense lawyer can guide you on what to say and what not to say. They protect your interests right from the start.

Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer

As soon as possible after your arrest, contact a criminal defense lawyer. A skilled lawyer can begin crafting a defense strategy immediately and ensure your rights are upheld throughout the legal process.

They can also handle communications with the police, which can help you avoid making damaging statements. Saying too much can harm you during a plea bargain, motion to dismiss, or jury trial.

How to Find the Right Lawyer

  • Specialization: Look for a lawyer who specializes in criminal defense. They will have the specific knowledge and experience to handle your case effectively.
  • Reputation: Research their reputation online through reviews and testimonials. A reputable lawyer will have a track record of success and positive feedback from previous clients.
  • Availability: Your lawyer should be readily available to handle your case. Ensure they have the time to dedicate to your defense.
  • Local knowledge: Choose a lawyer familiar with the local courts and law enforcement. Local experience can be beneficial in navigating your case through the system.
  • Personal fit: It's important that you feel comfortable with your lawyer. You must discuss sensitive information, so trust and communication are key.

What Information to Provide to Your Lawyer

  • Details of the arrest: Share everything you remember about the arrest, including what was said and done. Share if you feel the police officers mistreated you in any way.
  • Evidence: Mention any evidence you think may exist, whether it's video from a surveillance camera or witnesses at the scene.
  • Your background: Inform your lawyer about your background, which can be relevant to handling your case.
  • Witness information: If there were witnesses who could support your version of events, provide their contact details.
  • Prior interactions with law enforcement: If you have had previous encounters with the police or legal system, let your lawyer know.
  • Your account of the incident: Clearly explain your story to your lawyer. They need to understand your perspective fully.
  • Any communication with police: Tell your lawyer if you have spoken to the police and what you said.

What Happens During Booking

What happens during booking

Booking is the process that follows your arrest at the police station. Here, your personal information and the details of the alleged crime are recorded. You might be fingerprinted and photographed. This data becomes part of your official arrest record.

During this process, you might also have your belongings collected, and you'll receive a receipt for them. It's important to check this receipt carefully to ensure all your personal items are listed. Booking can be intimidating, but this is just a procedural step.

Your Rights During Booking

During booking, you retain your rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. You can only force yourself to talk or answer questions during this process.

If you feel your rights are being violated during booking, remember the details, which may be useful later in your defense.

Booking is also when you may be asked to participate in a lineup or give a DNA sample. You have the right to have your attorney present during any lineup or when giving samples. Always consult your attorney before agreeing to any procedures affecting your case.

Bail and Pre-Trial Release

After booking, you might be given the option to post bail. Bail is money you pay to guarantee your return for your court date. If you show up to court as promised, the money is returned.

How Bail is Determined

The bail amount is usually set by a schedule that varies by jurisdiction. Factors influencing bail include the severity of the alleged crime, your criminal history, and your ties to the community. Sometimes, bail can be waived altogether in less severe cases.

Options for Securing Release

  • Cash bail: You can pay the full amount in cash. This money will be returned once you appear at all scheduled court appearances.
  • Bail bond: If you can't afford the full bail amount, a bail bond agent can help. You pay a percentage of the total bail to the agent, who then assures the court of your return.
  • Property bond: Sometimes, you can use property as collateral instead of cash. This might include real estate or other valuable assets.

Preparing for Your Court Appearance

Preparing for your court appearance

Preparing for court is critical. Your lawyer will give an overview of what happens next and how to present yourself. Ensure you know the time and place of your court appearance and have all necessary documents ready.

What to Expect in Court

The charges against you will be revealed in court, and you will be asked to enter a plea. Your lawyer will guide you on whether to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The initial court appearance is not the trial but sets the stage for what will follow.

How to Dress and Behave

It is important to dress appropriately for court. Wear clean, conservative clothing to show respect for the court. Be polite and calm, address the judge as 'Your Honor,' and follow your lawyer's advice on courtroom behavior.

Build Your Defense

Building a strong defense is essential. Your lawyer will gather evidence, track witnesses, and prepare legal arguments. The goal is to create a compelling case that supports your innocence or mitigates the circumstances of your alleged crime.

Gathering Evidence and Witnesses

Evidence might include collecting surveillance footage, locating witnesses, and compiling documents supporting your defense. Additionally, your defense attorney will work to refute the prosecution's evidence.

This is also when your lawyer will analyze what happened while you were in jail or police custody, looking for any possible constitutional violations. This stage is about building the strongest possible case to present in court.

Working with Your Lawyer on a Defense Strategy

Developing a defense strategy involves detailed planning and constant communication with your lawyer. Discuss various approaches and understand the potential outcomes of each. Your lawyer will make strategic decisions based on the specifics of your case and the available evidence.

Call Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers for a Free Case Consultation

Call Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers for a free case consultation

Being arrested is just the beginning of a complex legal journey. You can go through this journey confidently with the right criminal defense attorneys in your corner. Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers is dedicated to providing vigorous defense and personalized, legal assistance strategies.

Don't face criminal charges alone. Call us today for a free consultation and begin building your defense with a law firm that stands for excellence and commitment. Our top priority is to help you secure the best possible outcome in your criminal case.

James Hansen
Thomas Hogle is a Principal Attorney at Genesis Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyers, leads a dedicated legal team specializing in criminal defense and DUI cases, offering comprehensive and skilled representation to clients facing legal challenges.
21321 E Ocotillo Rd Suite 125, Queen Creek, AZ 85142

Genesis DUI & Criminal Defense Lawyers - Peoria AZ Office

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