Being arrested for a crime for the first time can be confusing and scary. If you are innocent, you may be especially vulnerable and dismayed by the circumstances of your arrest. The key to dealing with any legal situation is to remain calm. Even when you are innocent, resisting an arrest can lead to more trouble.
If you are being accused of a crime, you can be reassured that the justice system is designed to protect your rights. Let’s take a closer look at a few steps you should take if you are arrested for a crime.
Request a Lawyer
Every person that is put under arrest has the automatic right to legal counsel. It is in your best interest to ask for an attorney to represent your rights as soon as possible following your arrest. Most people aren’t very familiar with the inner workings of the legal system, and can benefit from the advice of a lawyer. If the authorities do not allow you to contact a lawyer when you ask for one, keep repeating your request.
When you are read your rights by a police officer, it contains a phrase that says that you have the right to remain silent and that anything that you tell the police could potentially be used against you in a court of law. It is in your best interest to remain silent with the police or any authorities until you have spoken to a lawyer. Do not speak to guards, detectives, medical personnel, or support staff following your arrest until you have the proper representation to guide you.
Being arrested can be very upsetting and confusing, especially if you are innocent. You may be tempted to resist the situation and get into a confrontation with the police. It is crucial to your legal case that you do not get embroiled in a conflict and make no moves to avoid arrest. These actions can often result in further charges or an assumption of guilt. Remain calm, allow the process to go through the motions, and ask for your attorney as soon as possible.
Follow Legal Advice
You may think that you understand the law because you have watched legal thrillers and CSI shows on television. The truth is that most of us know very little about how the law works when we are arrested. It is crucial to your freedom that you listen carefully to your lawyer and follow their advice. If you are convinced that your lawyer is not acting in your best interest, you can request a change of counsel.
Moving through the legal system is not always a quick experience. Your case could take months to be cleared if you are innocent. It is important to remain patient and trust in your legal team in the legal process.
No one imagines that they will one day be arrested for a crime, but if you are, follow these tips to help you manage your case and move towards your freedom.