It could happen to anyone. You may be driving in your car after having a few drinks or unaware of the matter officers are accusing you of. No matter the reason, if you have been arrested in Fort Lauderdale or the surrounding areas, it is important that you act fast to protect your rights. You can expect to go through various criminal processes, from arraignment to trial. The sooner you get informed, the sooner you safeguard your future.
So what should you do after you’ve been arrested? Our criminal lawyers explain below.
After an Arrest: Protecting Your Future
It can be extremely nerve wracking to be pulled over or taken into custody by police. You may be wondering what you should do, who you should talk to, and what your rights are. It is crucial that you know the answer to all these questions so that you can walk away with the best possible outcome. When you follow the steps discussed below, you can be confident you have done everything in your power to protect your future.
1. Remain Calm.
The more panicked or aggressive you are, the more police officers or law enforcement will have to use against you. If you act out or try to use force to argue your point, you may be hit with more serious charges on top of other ones. If you want to keep your case as simple as possible, avoid discussing your opinion or viewpoint with police, even if you think you can convince them of your innocence. This never typically pans out positively for a defendant. Instead, keep calm, stay silent, and avoid incriminating yourself.
2. Get a Lawyer.
Whether you are being interrogated by detectives or kept behind bars, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible. This is one of your Miranda Rights, so make sure exercise it as soon as possible! Not only can an attorney help you determine what your next step should be, they can also protect you from incriminating yourself by giving information or answers to police that they can use against you. From building your defense to getting unfair evidence thrown out, they are an invaluable asset to your case.
3. Write Down Everything You Remember.
This includes witnesses who may have been at the scene of the arrest, the reason officers claimed they were arresting you, and the way in which law enforcement went about arresting and detaining you. Your rights may have been violated through an illegal search and seizure or an important witness may be found this way. After time, you may start to forget these key details—especially in the chaos of an arrest—so make sure you document them somewhere for your attorney to work with.
4. Be on Your Best Behavior.
Whether you are going to trial or not, it is important that you remain on your best behavior after an arrest. If you get into trouble with the law again after posting bail or try to confront a witness, it could result in increased penalties, additional complications, and other issues. When in the courtroom or in front of a judge, make sure you are dressed appropriately and act respectfully to ensure you present the best image of yourself. Don’t try to argue your case or point fingers at others—let your attorney do the talking and remain calm and collected throughout the entire process. If you lash out in court or commit a small mistake, it could jeopardize your whole case, not to mention your future.
5. Trust Your Legal Representation.
You want your lawyer to do a good job, which means you need to trust them. Tell them everything you know about your case and every piece of evidence or conflicting witnesses that may hurt you. Even if you are 100% innocent, the more you inform your lawyer of the issues stacked against you, the faster they can start to pick those areas apart. Don’t discuss your case with friends, family members, or others who may end up being called as a witness against you. If you have a skilled criminal defense lawyer, they should be able to help you secure a favorable plea agreement, craft a strong defense, or get your charges reduced. If they advise on appropriate steps to take, make sure you follow them.
Arrested in Fort Lauderdale? Don't wait to get legal counsel. Call the criminal defense attorneys at Rudenberg and Glasser, P.A.