These are the first steps to take after being arrested for a criminal offense
Anything you say can and will be used against you. Anything you say can and will be used against you. Anything you say can and will be used against you. It's one of the things you've heard on TV that's actually true.
I wish I kept track as a prosecutor of all the cases I was only able to prove because of some stupid comment someone made after being handcuffed or while sitting in the back of the police car on the way to the jail.
If you've been arrested, exercise your right to remain silent. It is the safest and surest way to make sure you don't make your situation any worse.
Do Not Resist Arrest
Pulling away from law enforcement or trying to flee from law enforcement is not only going to make your current charges worse, but will result in additional charges. Many defendants only end up getting prosecuted because they resisted arrest, not for the original reason they were arrested.
You should actually go beyond 'not resisting' and be as polite and respectful as you can.
"The Defendant was polite and cooperative throughout the entire investigation" at the end of a police report has resulted in several charges being dropped that were easily provable.
Stay off The Jail Phones
You should count on every word said on the jail calls being listened to by a prosecutor. This is especially true on drug possession charges that the State might have trouble proving (the drugs were found near the defendant, not on the defendant) and any violent crimes like domestic battery.
Defendant :"Hey mom, i'm in jail"
Mom: "What did you do???"
Defendant: "I messed up... but i'm not supposed to talk about it, these phones are being recorded"
Say goodbye any defense you were hoping for or just stay off the phones.
Consult With a Criminal Defense Attorney as Soon as Possible
Hiring an attorney within 24-72 hours of being arrested can make a world of a difference in terms of how a case is handled. It's much easier to talk a prosecutor into not filing criminal charges against an accused than it is to drop criminal charges that have already been filed. Getting an attorney to communicate with the prosecutor before the prosecutor's witnesses do can help make the prosecutor more receptive to the defendant's side of the story.
Most attorneys offer a free initial consultation. Please, if you or a friend or family member have been arrested or accused of a criminal offense. Take advantage of that free consultation so you don't end up putting yourself in a worse position that you already are in.
Sometimes people wait too long to hire an attorney, and by the time an attorney has been hired, the time for deal-making is over and it's a take-it-or-leave-it plea offer or trial. There's only so much an attorney can do to help you at that stage.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.