Being arrested, whether it's for a DUI or any other crime, can be a stressful and scary situation. If you've never been arrested before, you likely have no idea what to expect. And no matter how many times it's happened to you, you still need to think carefully about what your next move will be. To help make this a bit of an easier time for you, we're sharing a few tips so you will know what to do directly after you are arrested.
Upon being arrested, you will be handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car for transport to the police station. Once you've arrived, an initial processing will take place where one of the officers will ask for basic information, such as your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and other personal details. You will then be fingerprinted, photographed, and processed for arraignment, which is when you will appear in front of a judge to fight your case. If a bail has been set, you will have to remain in jail while you wait for your trial date to arrive. You will only be able to leave if you make bail on your own or through the help of a bail bondsman.
A police officer will search you and take any personal belongings that you have in your possession. Anything that is not deemed to be evidence in connection with your arrest, will be able to be retrieved later when you leave the jail. While at the station, the officers will also check to see if you have any warrants out for your arrest, unpaid tickets, or anything else on your record. The entire processing can take a while, so you will need to be patient. The best thing you can do in this situation is to just obey the officer's requests. Here's what else you will need to keep in mind:
Know Your Rights
First, it's important to know what your rights are upon being arrested. The police are required to inform you of your right to remain silent and your right to obtain an attorney. More specifically, the words you will likely hear from the officer are as follows: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you free of charge.” These are known as the “Miranda Rights.” These rights need to be read to you by an arresting officer prior to being questioned and you need to be aware that you can exercise these rights if you choose to do so.
These rights essentially mean that you can choose not to talk to police until you have a lawyer present. Having a lawyer by your side while being questioned can help ease the stress of the situation. Your lawyer can also help you out by letting you know what you should and shouldn't say when speaking to the police. If you do decide to speak to the police without the aid of a lawyer, anything you say to them can be used against you in court. It's always a better decision to remain silent and contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Without an attorney to guide you, you may say something incriminating that could do more harm than good when your case goes to court.
In times like this, where you are likely scared and confused about what may happen, you might feel intimidated by the presence of the police. Many people become frightened and nervous and start speaking without thinking about what they're saying first. They often mistakenly believe that if they give a statement, the officer will let them leave or that the process will move along faster. This isn't going to happen and will likely do more harm than good in the end. Instead of giving in, stand up for your rights and don't feel pressured to talk to them without a lawyer if you aren't comfortable. Inform the police that you would like to contact your lawyer and wait until he or she is present before saying anything to anyone regarding your case.
Call for Help
You've probably seen it on television shows and movies hundreds of times, and yes, you do get to make a phone call after being arrested. This is the time to contact family to let them know of your arrest, seek out the help of a bail bondsman, or to contact an attorney to come to your rescue. If you are unable to afford an attorney, you can also request the help of a public defender.
Do keep in mind that phone calls made from the police station are likely recorded. Information that is given over the phone or statements the police overhear you making while on your call can be used against you. They can even use information they overhear you telling other prisoners in the jail. Be careful of what you say while in police custody to minimize the impact it could have on you later.
Seek Legal Representation
Finally, you will need to seek legal representation if you hope to stand a chance at getting the charges dropped or, at the very least, lowered. Do It can be very tough to represent yourself in the courtroom. You should have an experienced, qualified lawyer by your side to fight for your rights and to defend you until the very end. You stand a much better chance of getting a positive result in the court if you have a great attorney with you.
Before speaking to police or making any decisions on your own, please contact a lawyer. Not only can a lawyer help you fight your case, but having someone to represent you will give you the peace of mind you need to get through what is definitely a very taxing time.