Perhaps the most important thing to know after an arrest is this: Refrain from speaking with the police under any circumstance. While you may be obligated to identify yourself in specific scenarios, such as, if you are pulled over while driving, your verbal communication with law enforcement should end there. Remember, the police have the authority to use persuasive tactics to incite self-incrimination. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the police can lie to you in order to get you to incriminate yourself, but conversely, it is often considered a crime for you to lie to the police. This means that after you’ve identified yourself, the only words you should utter are, “I wish to remain silent” and “I want to speak with my attorney.”
A stark reality is that while the police can use various strategies to obtain statements from you, their words carry weight; however, the law permits them wide latitude in these interactions. They may promise leniency or assistance, but these offers often hold no merit. In fact, they rarely have the power to make binding deals — those negotiations are handled by prosecutors who actually have the legal authority to make binding deals.
Negotiating with a police officer for a statement isn’t the right approach. Instead, follow these steps:
Another thing to understand is that the urgency often stressed by law enforcement, such as when they claim “you must talk now or else you lose your chance to”, is often outright fiction. If they genuinely need your information, they will be willing to wait while your attorney negotiates with the prosecutor to secure a fair deal. Remember, speaking to the police without proper legal counsel risks giving away crucial information without guarantees of getting any leniency in return.
After an arrest, you will typically appear before a judge, where probable cause for your arrest is evaluated and bail is set. If you were arrested on a warrant, a judge has already established probable cause and often times has even determined the bond amount.
It is also important to avoid discussing the details of your case over jail phones since these conversations are recorded and can be used against you later. Inform loved ones of your arrest and bond amount, but wait to communicate with your attorney in person for confidential discussions about the facts of the case.
Understanding these guidelines can protect your rights, reputation, and future. The judicial system is intricate, but you can navigate it wisely with some knowledge of crucially important things to know after an arrest.
For more information on Important Things To Know After An Arrest, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (407) 890-8472 today.