Getting arrested probably wasn’t on your to-do list. You may have been curious about it throughout your life. Maybe you heard people relay stories in which they’d been arrested and you felt a twinge of envy. After all, now that person has a really interesting story to tell! Maybe it’s only boring people who are never arrested. You wonder about these things, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be arrested.
Because, of course, if you are arrested and charged with a crime, then you’ve got a lot to worry about. This article won’t be assuming you did the crime. We won’t even be assuming you didn’t do it. Heck, maybe you did do it but there are mitigating circumstances that would explain your actions. Whatever the case, you have to be able to defend yourself properly. Otherwise, you could find yourself in a whole heap of trouble. (Okay, so you’re already in a heap of trouble. But you know what I mean. It could get worse!)
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, here’s what you need to do.
Hire an attorney
You have the right to an attorney. If you were arrested, you should have heard these words. Well, the first thing you need to do is use that right! As soon as you’re in the hands of the police, you’re entering a very tricky and sensitive area, legally speaking. You could end up saying something that could be used against you in court, even if it doesn’t seem very fair or relevant at the time. A criminal defense lawyer is what you need. You need to have a law professional who is on your side as early as you can possibly get them.
Dealing with bail
The police may choose to release you after the arrest and put you on some form of probation. However, there are many instances in which you’ll need to pay bail in order to be released. This is where you lawyer, or your right to phone calls, will come in handy. You may need to speak to people outside in order to arrange for the payment. You should get to know how bail works. It’s not a further punishment – the money is refunded to you at the end of the case, as long as you fulfill all the agreed conditions.
When people are charged, they often make the mistake of assuming that finding evidence is up to the police and the lawyers. Well, yeah, it is. But if you are able to find evidence to back up your case, then you need to find it. You may actually be the best person in this situation for this job. You need to work with your lawyer to attain any evidence you can dig up. Witnesses, video footage, travel records, etc. You need to locate anything that will back up your alibi or strengthen a case for mitigating circumstances.
This may seem like weird advice, but try to stay calm and civil during this entire process. The character you present to authorities can have a big impact on how tough this can get.