What you say to the police is always important, but never more so than when you are under arrest. This blog entry outlines what to do and say (or not do and say) should you find yourself being charged with a crime, as well as what your rights are throughout the process. Hopefully, you won’t end up in this situation – but it’s always wise to be prepared.
Do not resist
First, stay calm and keep your hands where the officer(s) can see them. Don’t argue, run, or resist the police even if you know you are innocent. You will have a chance to make your defense in court, and you don’t need a resisting arrest charge to compound your difficulties.
You have the right to remain silent. Don’t tell the police anything except your name, date of birth, and home address. Don’t try to explain yourself or justify your actions: your words could come back to haunt you when you appear before a judge.
Ask to speak to an attorney
In firm but courteous tones, let the police know that you want to speak to an attorney at once. Say nothing to the police without your lawyer being present.
In Texas you will typically be taken before a magistrate within a short time after your arrest. He or she will explain the charges filed against you and affirm your rights. Your attorney can request bail, which may or may not be granted depending on the severity of the alleged crime, your ties to the community, whether you are a flight risk, and your ability to post assets or cash. If the judge allows bail, you have the right to reasonable bail requirements.
Being arrested is something that nobody wants to experience. But it’s important to know your rights, to be prepared, and to stay calm. People are often so desperate to be released that they try to explain the situation or cooperate unduly just to improve their chances of avoiding jail. Do not try to talk your way out or provide any information beyond the basics without first talking to a criminal defense attorney. He or she will help protect your rights and work with you to secure the best outcome possible for your case.
If you or a loved one have been arrested, we can help. Please contact us today for more information.