No one actually plans on being arrested. Even career criminals count on their luck and cunning to prevent an arrest. It could happen though. Whether it’s because your luck has run out or because you are the victim of mistaken identity, 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. With that in mind, a Nebraska criminal defense attorney has prepared the following “10 Steps to Take after Being Arrested.”
10 Steps to Take after Being Arrested
- Do not do anything that can be perceived as resisting arrest. If you did not commit the crime, you may be very angry at the fact that you are being accused and arrested. Do not lash out and do anything that a police officer could interpret as resisting arrest. This will only add an additional charge of resisting. Let your attorney handle the accusations.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use your phone call wisely. Use that infamous “one phone call” wisely. Call someone who is likely to answer an unknown or private number. Moreover, call someone with the ability to get your bond money together and the wherewithal to figure out how to pay it.
- Do not talk to cellmates. While you are in custody, keep your mouth shut. 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Be honest with your attorney. Human nature makes most of us mistrustful, particularly after going through an arrest and being accused of a crime. Your attorney, however, cannot do his/her job properly if you are not upfront. There is nothing worse for a defense attorney than being broadsided by an important fact or piece of evidence in the middle of a trial that the client should have divulged. You are only hurting yourself and your defense by keeping things to yourself.
- Stay out of trouble. Keep in mind that you remain under the court’s jurisdiction while out on bail. Even if you were released on your own recognizance (OR’d) you must still abide by the conditions of release. If you are arrested for anything else while released on this case you can almost count on remaining in custody until the cases are resolved.
Contact A Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorney at Petersen Law Office
If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in the State of Nebraska, consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. In Nebraska contact Petersen Criminal Defense Law 24 hours a day at 402-509-8070 to discuss your case.