If you are arrested for a crime, there are steps you should take to protect your rights under the law. Most crimes will be classified as either felonies (more serious crimes with more severe potential consequences) or misdemeanors (less serious crimes). Regardless of which type of crime you are charged with, you should follow this advice:
- Do not argue with, resist or assault the arresting officer. This will only make the situation worse and could result in additional charges. Even if you are acquitted of the original charge, you may still be convicted of resisting arrest – especially if your actions are caught on police video.
- The police, jail and court personnel are doing their jobs. Be polite and do not lash out at them.
- You should answer basic questions about your name and address, and provide the officer with your date of birth. Ask to speak with an attorney before answering any other questions.
- After your arrest, you will be taking before a Judge for an initial hearing. For a misdemeanor crime, you may be released with a promise to appear in court at a later date, or the Judge may order you to wear an electronic monitoring device. Alternatively, the Judge may set a secured or unsecured bond, requiring you to pay the amount ordered to secure your release. If you are arrested at night or on a weekend or holiday, you may spend a night or two in jail before you can see a Judge.
- Once you are released, follow any restrictions set by the Judge (for instance, your driving privileges may be limited or you may be told to remain in the immediate area).
- You should also pay close attention to the date and time set for your next court appearance. Should you fail to appear you could forfeit your bond and be arrested again.
Any arrest is serious and you must understand the legal consequences. We strongly recommend you speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible following your arrest. The attorneys at Brinkley Walser Stoner have experience in all areas of criminal law and would be happy to discuss your case.