The "Top 5" Things To Do After Being Arrested
Updated: Apr 17, 2021
By Clayton T. Robertson (Criminal Defense Attorney)
Of course, there are many things you need to do before and after being arrested to protect your rights, not just a "top five," but the following list gives you a good sense of some very important ways to protect yourself in the event you've been arrested and are facing possible criminal charges.
1. DON'T TALK -- YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REMAIN SILENT -- USE IT!
You don't want to talk to law enforcement (either before or after an arrest) without the assistance of counsel. Do not talk about your case to anyone except your attorney, including even to loved ones. The reason is that anything you say about your case to others can potentially be used against you. This includes not posting on social media about the incident. And, remember, if you make calls from jail, they are being recorded. There are also snitches in jail looking to use you so they can get out early at your expense.
2. HIRE AN ATTORNEY -- FIND AN ATTORNEY WITH THE NECESSARY EXPERTISE
Attorneys have different backgrounds and skills. Only hire an attorney after they satisfactorily answer your questions about their professional expertise. Also, if you are arrested and released but charges haven't been filed yet by the prosecutor, an attorney may also conduct what's called a "pre-file investigation" depending on the seriousness of the offense to help you locate evidence favorable to your case.
3. BAIL OUT -- CALL FRIENDS OR FAMILY OR HAVE AN ATTORNEY HELP
An out-of-custody client is more empowered to address their case and generally less inclined to take a bad "deal." An attorney should also be able to help you with the bail process. An experienced attorney will help you address the amount of bail at a bail review hearing and may file a bail review memorandum showing why you are not a danger to the community or a flight risk or why bail is set excessively high in your circumstance.
4. GET CASE UPDATES -- BE PROACTIVE AND INVOLVED IN YOUR CASE
Make sure you hire an attorney who will take the time to keep you updated on your case. Follow up with them as much as you need and get the answers to your questions. Ask your attorney how they plan on fighting the prosecution's case, including if they plan on using an investigator to conduct their own investigation. Police reports are "guilt" reports that are biased against you. At the same time, you need to make sure you are giving your attorney all the information about your case. Remember, you know the most about your own case and the various people involved!
5. STAY OUT OF TROUBLE -- DON'T ADD TO YOUR PROBLEMS
Prosecutors will use any new offenses against you in your existing case. You want to appear to be an otherwise upstanding, law-abiding citizen who is contributing to society. Staying out of trouble particularly means not contacting the alleged victim if there is a "stay-away order" and otherwise complying with the terms of your bail or release. The goal is to keep you out of trouble so your attorney is better situated to negotiate on your behalf.
This blog is brought to you by Clayton T. Robertson (California State Bar No. 229430), who is responsible for its content. Law Office of Clayton T. Robertson, 1300 Clay Street, Suite 600, Oakland, CA 94612 (RobertsonLitigation.com). The article does not create an attorney-client relationship, nor is it intended to provide legal advice or offer legal services (or convey or guarantee a legal result). It is a communication offered only as an informational courtesy and conveys only the opinions of its author.