What You Need To Do During and After an Arrest
Being arrested for the first time is a scary and confusing experience. Odds are, you didn’t think you’d ever get arrested. However, people make mistakes and you may find yourself in this unexpected situation. It’s good to have an understanding of the actions you should take both during and after an arrest so that you can protect yourself and your future.
During Your Initial Stop and Arrest
We’ve put together a list of your rights and things you should do while first interacting with the police.
Most people are familiar with the beginning of the Miranda Warning, “You have the right to remain silent.” What you may not know, however, is that police are not required to tell you this during an initial stop. Miranda warnings are only required when you are brought into police custody for further investigation. While police do not have to alert you of your right to remain silent, remember that you do have this right when stopped by police.
Staying silent is the safest option to protect yourself from self-incriminating. You can calmly state to the police that you choose to remain silent until you can speak to an attorney.
Don’t Consent to a Search
In most situations, you do not have to consent to a warrantless search.
Some reasons that the police can conduct a warrantless search include if:
- The suspect consents;
- Public safety is at immediate risk; or,
- The police need to collect evidence before it is destroyed.
As you can see, once you consent to a search, any evidence collected is valid and can be used against you. You may fear that saying no to a search makes you look guilty, but remember that you are within your rights to do so.
Don’t Resist Arrest
There is no denying that being taken into police custody is scary. So much so that you may instinctively try to break free and run.
You may attempt to resist arrest by:
- Running away;
- Pushing or kicking the officers as they restrain you; or,
- Verbally threatening the officer.
However, you should avoid doing this at all costs. In fact, resisting arrest can lead to additional criminal charges. This means that even if you are found innocent of the initial offense, you could still be in trouble for resisting arrest.
Being arrested does not automatically mean you will be convicted and sentenced. You still have time to defend yourself. This brings us to what you should do after being formally arrested.
After Being Arrested
Contact an Attorney
The first thing you should do after being arrested is contact a defense attorney. The sooner you take this step, the sooner your defense team can begin preparing a strong defense on your behalf. Your attorney has invaluable experience and can provide guidance on what your next best steps are throughout the case, ensuring you get the best possible outcome.
Follow Bail Conditions
If you are released on bail, it is crucial that you follow all of your bail conditions. If you do not, you risk being sent back to jail.
Common bail conditions include:
- Drug-free living;
- The requirement to stay within the county;
- Following no-contact orders;
- Holding your current job; and,
- Taking mandatory classes (counseling, anger management, drug therapy, etc.)
Even if your social media accounts are private, everything is accessible. Whatever you say about your case online can be used against you. This includes text messages. Protect yourself by not discussing your case with anyone online. Even if you don’t think what you’re saying could hurt your case, prosecutors can twist your words.
Birmingham Defense Attorneys
If you have recently been arrested in the Birmingham area, contact our team at Burrell & McCants, LLC. We have experience handling a wide variety of case types. Call us today at (205) 547-3042 to learn more about what we can do for you.