After you have been arrested – whether the charges involve an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony – you need to know what to do immediately afterwards to avoid getting into more legal trouble. You have rights, and you must know them and understand how to use them. We are here to help you through every step of the process, but get started by understanding a few basics as discussed below.
Do you think your case is going to go to trial? Do you know you are innocent? No matter the answers, you need to first keep a level head and remember these helpful tips to protect your rights:
Law enforcement officials are undoubtedly going to try to get you to chat with them and inadvertently say something that sounds incriminating; this is part of their job, so try not to take it personally. Instead, exercise your Fifth Amendment right to stay silent and not respond to questioning until you are represented by an attorney. One of the few things you should say is that you would like to get into contact with an East Brunswick criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Understandably, your first instinct will be to talk to friends, family members, and coworkers about your harrowing run in with the law. It is critical that you resist and stay quiet and confidential about the whole thing. Did you know that the police can seek them out for questioning? If you tell them anything in confidence, they may still disclose information, or even testify against you in court. Remember the old maritime motto: “Loose lips sink ships.”
The sooner you get professional legal counsel on your side, the better. If you have not already researched lawyers in your area, do so now and get ready to hire one. A law firm with an impressive history of case results and 5-star client testimonials is always good.
If you are not truthful with your criminal defense lawyer, you are only making their job more difficult and your chances of success slimmer. Remember that everything you tell them is done so in strict confidentiality. Do you know of witnesses to the alleged crime? Do you have an alibi that places you elsewhere? Let them know!
With all of that said about how to protect your rights, you might still be in the dark as to what your rights actually are. There is no reason to be embarrassed, as many Americans do not know their rights after being arrested, and it can sometimes seem as if law enforcement does not want to make them well-known. Basically, you need to be primarily concerned with the Miranda warning – sometimes called your Miranda rights.
Whenever you are arrested, you need to be told the Miranda warning as soon as possible, and the rights it describes:
Understanding your rights gives you leverage in your defense case that you might not have foreseen. If at any point the arresting officers violate your rights, you might be able to have any of the subsequent evidence suppressed and deemed inadmissible in court. But you won’t be able to make that argument if you don’t know your rights in the first place.
Need to know more about your rights? Contact an East Brunswick criminal defense attorney from the Law Offices of Ryan E. Gilbert, LLC!