It is common for people to panic when the police put them in handcuffs or in the backseat of a cruiser. They may worry about what kind of interrogation they will experience or about what being in state custody will mean for their jobs.
If you already know what steps to take after an arrest, you will be in a better position to protect yourself until you secure your release and make your defense easier to mount.
What steps do you need to take to fight back against the charges that will likely follow your arrest?
Remember your right to remain silent
It is common for nervous people to talk more than they should. You might think that you could get the police officers who arrested you to feel sympathetic toward you and to understand that they have made a mistake. Officers have to remind you of your rights before questioning you, but not when you volunteer information.
Your attempt to build a rapport with them or to humanize yourself could easily end up hurting you later. Anything that you say while in state custody can affect the prosecution’s case against you later. Statements that make you look like a bad person and even unintentional contradictions can make it harder to defend yourself in court.
Ask for your right to a phone call or an attorney
You don’t have to sit in police custody until arraignment on the next business day. In many cases, you can secure release with the support of a criminal defense attorney pending arraignment.
Even if you can’t secure a quicker release, you can learn more about your rights from the attorney that you contact and get them started with the process of preparing for your defense.
Remember that the police aren’t the only source of concern
Everything that you say and do while in state custody is likely under scrutiny and potentially recorded. With the exception of phone calls to and conversations with your lawyer, you can expect the state to record every phone call. There may also be video or audio recording equipment throughout the facilities.
What you say to yourself or to other people in state custody could later come up in court. Some people will happily turn states evidence and even take what you say and twist it to make it seem far more sinister or problematic than it was in the hopes of a lighter sentence.
Once you have a lawyer and they have access to the evidence against you, you can then start planning your actual strategy for when you go to court. Taking the right steps shortly after your arrest will increase your chances of a successful criminal defense.