There are few things more frightening than being arrested and charged with a crime. More frightening is the uncertainty such crimes might have on a persons future including the impact on one’s family, career, and finances. So what should you do if you have been arrested and charged with a crime? In this blog I look at the three most important things to know if you have been arrested or charged with a crime.
I. DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE
The most important thing to do if you are arrested is actually what you should NOT do. Do not speak with the police. Most people understand that what you say can be used against you, but few people realize the manner in which your words can be twisted by police and prosecutors to be used as evidence of guilt. Even if you are innocent of the allegations, nothing will be gained by speaking with the police until you have met with an attorney and considered the evidence the police may have. It is also important to know police are not required to be honest with you about charges, evidence, or otherwise. Police are allowed to lie and your statements about that evidence, charges, or any other fact can and will be used against you. The most important thing to do if arrested is Do Not Talk To the Police.
II. CONSULT AN ATTORNEY
Secondly, you should consult an attorney. Most criminal defense attorneys are willing to provide a fifteen to thirty minute consultation for free for individuals charged with a crime. Take advantage of this opportunity. It is also important to do so immediately. While you may have a few days or even weeks before your first appearance in court, you need to know immediately whether you are facing a possible jail sentence, a fine, or other forms of punishment. It is also important as evidence of your innocence maybe readily available and un-examined by the police; however, the longer you wait, the higher likelihood that the evidence may not be found. Also, you want to have as much time as possible to prepare for any hearings in court.
III. HIRE AN ATTORNEY
There is an old saying, “a man who represents himself has a fool for a client.” This is the first thing every attorney is taught in law school, and an important and vital lesson for every person charged with a crime. As an attorney I make my living by representing individuals in court; however, I would not under any circumstances represent myself in court. A criminal allegation creates an emotionally difficult situation for every person, regardless of the charge. To handle those emotions while in court, while attacking the prosecutors case, cross-examining witnesses, and ultimately arguing a case before a Judge or Jury is too much of a task for even the most skilled advocates. It is important to hire an attorney to represent you when you have been arrested.
Three important things to know if you have been arrested is 1. Do not talk to the police, 2. Consult an Attorney, and 3. Hire an Attorney. If you do these three things you will have a much better idea about what the future will hold after the arrest and hopefully your exoneration. If you have been arrested, consider hiring Brandon C. Waltrip, Esq. or one of the attorneys at Waltrip & Campbell, PC to fight for you.