What You Should (or Should Not) Do When Arrested

As trusted Orlando criminal defense lawyers, we know that most people have never found themselves in a situation where they have been arrested, and therefore do not know what to do - or what not to do. The two most important things you should remember is that you have the right to an attorney, and the right to remain silent. Ultimately, you should not say anything until you have consulted an attorney. Be polite and provide information such as your name and address, but otherwise, keep quiet.

Below is information regarding what an arrest is, and what you should/should not do if you are arrested.

When a police officer takes a person into custody and that person is not free to leave, it is considered an arrest. You can only be arrested if a police officer actually sees you commit a crime, or has probable cause to believe you have committed a felony (probable cause means reason to believe). Otherwise, you may be arrested if a probable cause arrest warrant has been issued b a judge or magistrate.

Following an arrest

In most cases, individuals who have been arrested will be searched, either upon arrest or at jail. At this time, evidence or contraband will be confiscated by authorities, and you will be fingerprinted and photographed. A record of the arrest will also be made, and depending on where you live may be published in local newspapers. In addition, the Internet makes most arrest records available online which are accessible by anyone looking for information about you.

Upon arrest, you will be informed of your legal right to an attorney and to remain silent. This is what is commonly known as being read your "Miranda rights." When being read your rights by the police officer, you will be told that anything you do say may be used against you in court. This is why it is so important that you remain silent, as even the most innocent of statements can be misconstrued and used against you. If offered the opportunity to waive your Miranda rights, refuse.

Invoke your right to remain silent

Individuals who are arrested often want an opportunity to proclaim their innocence, however it is not a good idea to say anything at all other than to give pertinent information such as address, name, birth date, etc. Do not speak with police, other inmates if you are placed in jail, or even family members regarding your case. It is particularly important not to share information about your case with others who are in jail/prison, as these inmates are often probing for information in order to make their own situations better. For example, an inmate may be let out of prison early in exchange for incriminating evidence regarding your case. In addition, if you speak to anyone over the telephone or even in person, chances are high that these conversations are monitored and recorded. However, whatever you discuss with your attorney is strictly confidential.

Never use force to resist arrest

Even if there is not reasonable belief or probable cause to support your arrest, never use force to resist being arrested. If you do use force, you may be charged with battery on an officer, or resisting arrest. Fighting the arrest in court is the best solution when you feel you have been arrested without probable cause - not fighting with police on the street.

Call for help

Most states allow those who have been arrested to call for assistance. You may choose to call your attorney, a family member, or a bail bondsman. Always assume that when you make any telephone call from jail or the police station, that call is being recorded. The only exception is when you call your attorney; in this case, the call will not be recorded. It is recommended that you know the phone numbers of anyone you would want to call in the event you are arrested.

Obtain the assistance of a qualified Orlando criminal defense lawyer

The most important call you can make is to an experience criminal defense attorney, who will review your case in order to determine how it will fare in court. Your lawyer will also guide you and provide support in regards to what you can expect in the criminal justice process, and work to protect your legal rights in an effort to help you avoid a conviction. Many who are arrested believe the best way to proceed is to cooperate with police, or simply explain away the situation so that police will understand and release them. This is never recommended, even though police may try to persuade you that by talking to them, it will be to your benefit. Whether police are trying to get you to talk or participate in a line up, do not provide information or comply with requests without first speaking with an attorney.

If you have been arrested, remain silent and call a seasoned Orlando criminal defense lawyer immediately. These are the most important steps you can take toward protecting your freedom, and obtaining the best possible outcome.

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