Even career criminals don’t actually count on being arrested; however, it obviously does happen to both the guilty and the innocent. Whether it’s because you committed a crime or because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, you could find yourself in handcuffs one day with a police officer reading you your rights. If that day does ever come to pass, being prepared and knowing what to do next could be the difference between a conviction and an acquittal. To make sure you do know what to do, a Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby explains five things to do immediately after being arrested.
What to Do After Being Arrested
- Do not answer questions. Once the decision has been made to arrest you, talking your way out of it is not an option. Instead, you will likely talk yourself into a conviction. You have a Constitutional right to remain silent. Exercise it. The police may try more than once to get you to talk – and they may use a variety of tactics to try and get you to open up. They may tell you that someone arrested with you is already talking even though they aren’t. They may tell you they have evidence that they don’t have. Keep in mind that the police are legally allowed to use deception when they interrogate a suspect. Be polite but firm when you tell them you do not wish to answer questions without an attorney present.
- Ask for an attorney. You also have a Constitutional right to have an attorney present anytime the police question you while you are in custody. Exercise this right by asking for an attorney the minute the police start to ask you questions. You may need to repeat this request. Again, do so politely but firmly. Even if you slip up and answer a question, you still have a right to ask for a lawyer and the police must stop questioning you at that point.
- Retain an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Whether you are still in custody or out, your focus should be on hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Defendants frequently make irreversible mistakes during the early stages of a criminal prosecution because they do not have an attorney on their side protecting their rights. Another mistake defendants often make is to think that the matter isn’t serious enough to warrant hiring an attorney. Any arrest warrants at least consulting with an attorney because you may not realize the numerous negative consequences that could follow a conviction.
- Write out a narrative of events for your attorney. Everyone’s memory fades over time. If you manage to get released on bail, sit down and write out a narrative of events for your attorney with all pertinent information. Make sure you make it clear it is a communication intended only for your attorney so it is protected by the attorney-client privilege.
- Do not discuss the case with anyone but your attorney. Conversations with your attorney are privileged, meaning nothing you say can be used against you and your attorney cannot repeat anything you tell him/her. Anything you tell anyone else, however, could be used against you and the prosecution could force that person to testify using the subpoena powers of the court. This includes your spouse, your mother, and your best friend. This also applies while you are in custody. Do not discuss anything with your cellmates. It may be tempting to vent to other cellmates about the injustice you have suffered; however, the authorities often cut deals with jailhouse “snitches” who are willing to testify against a cellmate for a deal in their own case. Talking to anyone could jeopardize your future and your freedom.
Contact a Murfreesboro Criminal Defense Attorney
If you were recently arrested, or you are the loved one of someone who was, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Murfreesboro criminal defense attorney at Bennett, Michael & Hornsby as soon as possible. Contact the team today by calling 615-898-1560 to schedule your appointment.