What to Do (and Not to Do) After Being Arrested

man getting tested for driving under the influence
  • Remain calm and collected to give your attorney the best chance to protect your rights. 
  • Have a support system in place for emotional and financial help. 
  • Follow instructions, remain respectful, and remember your rights. 
  • Understand the charges, get an experienced lawyer, and don’t speak without one present. 
  • Have your attorney guide you through the process and negotiate favorable terms. 

In 2019, the United States saw an estimated 3,011 arrests for every 100,000 people. Violent crime accounts for 156 out of every 100,000 and property theft 343 out of every 100K citizens, respectively.

If you’ve been arrested, the experience can feel overwhelming and confusing. You may need to figure out what steps to take or even where to start. But don’t worry. After getting arrested, here are some dos and don’ts that will help you navigate this unfamiliar territory.

man being questionned by police officer

Do Remain Calm and Collected

The biggest mistake people make after being arrested is panicking. It’s important to remember that an arrest does not equal a conviction. You still have rights, so stay calm and collected during the entire process, from booking to arraignment. This gives your attorney the best chance at protecting your rights. In addition, remaining calm will make it easier for your family and friends who are supporting you through this difficult time. Remember to take deep breaths and stay focused on the end goal—your freedom.

Support System

To help you stay calm, you can ask your attorney questions about the process ahead of time and ensure you understand what will happen next. It’s also a good idea to have a support system in place that can offer emotional and financial help. The system can include family members, friends, or even a support group. Having someone to talk to about your case can be invaluable in helping you stay composed and focused on the legal proceedings.

Do Follow Instructions

During the arrest process, you must follow every instruction given by police officers or other law enforcement personnel. This includes providing identification documents such as driver’s licenses or passports when asked and answering any questions truthfully but without incriminating yourself in any way.

Protect From Legal Troubles

Following instructions can protect you from potential legal trouble down the road. Additionally, it is crucial to remain calm and respectful. You can request to speak with a supervisor or file a complaint later on if the police officer’s behavior becomes aggressive.

Miranda Warning

Above all else, remember that you have rights during the arrest process. Officers must provide a Miranda warning if they plan to interrogate you. You are not required to answer any questions without a lawyer present. You also have the right to remain silent and cannot be punished for exercising this right. With these rights in mind, staying focused on protecting yourself and following instructions is essential.

Understand the Charges

If you are arrested, make sure that you understand your rights and the charges against you. Request to speak to an attorney if you feel uncertain of your legal rights or need clarification on the charges against you. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help guide you through the process, protect your rights and interests, and advocate on your behalf.

legal advice

Don’t Speak Without an Attorney Present

You must understand your right to remain silent until an attorney is present during questioning from law enforcement personnel. Anything you say before consulting with a lawyer can be used against you in court. This can potentially damage your defense case or even lead to additional charges being filed against you.

Right Lawyer

You should also get a lawyer specializing in your case, if possible. For instance, you should contact a reputable DUI defense attorney if you are accused of driving while intoxicated or under the influence. The lawyer should have the knowledge and experience to deal with these cases. The legal professional can even help you avoid jail time or the suspension of your license, depending on the circumstances. 

Legal Advice

Once an attorney is present for questioning, they can advise on how best to answer questions while protecting your rights under the law. Your attorney can also negotiate favorable terms with prosecutors, such as reduced charges or outright dismissal of the case. Therefore, you should consult a lawyer before speaking to law enforcement personnel. In some cases, they may even be willing to come to the police station and represent you during questioning.

Depending on your situation, other steps may need to be taken after being arrested—such as posting bail or attending court hearings. But these dos and don’ts should always be kept in mind throughout the entire legal process. Remembering these tips can help protect your rights and give your attorney the best chance at achieving a favorable outcome for your case!

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