Getting arrested is traumatic. It’s what you do next that matters most. Here are 7 rules to follow to help you along.
Relax. Stay calm. We don’t do our best thinking when we’re stressed.
Shut up. At the risk of being rude, Shut up. You cannot change the outcome of your case yourself and you’ve probably already done more harm than good. Give the police your name and basic information. Give them nothing about the allegations against you.
If you appear in front of a judge, you should have a lawyer with you, and if you did not bring one, the Court should have given you one. If they don’t, then ask for one. Do not speak on your own behalf.
Find a lawyer. Before you agree to hire an attorney, make sure you’re comfortable with their experience and ability to communicate with you. The best lawyer is the one you can effectively communicate, that makes you feel most comfortable.
Don’t lie to your lawyer. There is nothing that says you are required to tell your lawyer anything about your case, but if you choose to tell your lawyer anything, make it the truth.
Avoid the drama. You may be tempted to investigate your own case. Don’t do it. If you have specific concerns about your case, tell your attorney. A quality defense attorney will investigate every case thoroughly. Too many things can and do go wrong when people try to investigate their own cases.
Don’t talk about your case. Even after you hire your lawyer, your family and friends may want to know what happened. Don’t do it. Keep the facts of your case to yourself. If necessary, tell them that your lawyer ordered you not to talk about your case. When you tell someone a fact about your case, you are making that person a witness. Don’t make witnesses.
Follow your lawyer’s instructions. Your lawyer will identify things that you can do to improve the outcome in your case. For example, in some cases, a drug and alcohol evaluation may be indicated. Ask your lawyer what you can do to help and do what they tell you to do.