For most people getting arrested is their worst nightmare. While there’s no quick to get through the ordeal there are a few actions you can take to lessen the impact.
Be Aware of Your Demeanor
|Stay calm||The police may have had no justification or right for arresting you but yelling or making a scene will only make things worse. Remain calm and use respectful tones. The police will want information from you but you will also need information from them. There’s no need to say anything incriminating but you can calmly ask why you are being detained and ask to speak with an attorney.|
Know Your Rights
|The right to remain silent||You are under no obligation to tell the police anything. It is your right to keep quiet but you should tell the police you are exercising that right so they don’t continue questioning you.|
|Free to leave?||If you’re not under arrest then you are free to leave at any point. Ask if you are under arrest and if they say no then calmly leave the area where you have been detained.|
|No obligation to allow a search||An officer is permitted to pat you down to ensure you’re not carrying a weapon but you must consent to allowing a search of your house, vehicle or bags.|
|The right to an attorney||It’s generally in your best interest to request an attorney be present for any questioning. Anything you say to the police can be used against you later.|
Answer All Questions Truthfully
|Do not provide false statements||Lying or intentionally trying to mislead an officer can have dire consequences. It’s much better to exercise your right to be silent than to provide false information. In addition, never give a police officer a false or counterfeit document like a fake ID or registration slip.|
If you’re booked into county jail you will immediately be fingerprinted and your picture will be taken. Your belonging’s will be impounded and you’ll be permitted to make at least one phone call. Most people don’t have an attorney on retainer so it’s recommended you contact a relative or friend to arrange for an attorney to meet you at the jail.
The attorney will want to speak with you confidentially about why you were arrested and what can be done to get you released from jail. For less serious crimes you may be able to post bail immediately and leave with a bail hearing. For more serious infractions a bail hearing will be set within the next 48 hours and a judge will determine the bail amount.
If you can afford bail you can pay it immediately to be released from prison. If you can’t afford bail then you will most likely need to look into bail bonds to get released. Either way, bail comes with certain restrictions that must be adhered to or you will be arrested and returned to prison.
If you are arrested, remember to stay calm and be respectful when speaking with police officers. Don’t say anything you’ll regret or that can be used against yourself at trial and always ask to talk to an attorney before answering any questions.