It’s something no one ever wants to experience—being arrested for a criminal offense.
If you’ve been arrested, what happens next? You may be confused as to what you should do, who you should call, or what you need to know about the legal system.
Remember to stay calm and composed, whatever you do. Then, keep reading to learn the top five things to expect after a criminal arrest.
1. After a Criminal Arrest, Call a Lawyer
If you’re wondering what to do after an arrest, your first step should be to call a lawyer.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer, like Johnson Litigation, PLLC, can advise you of your rights and help you through every step of the process. You’ll need a lawyer to represent you through the proceedings, so the best option is to find someone right away.
If you’re not able to afford a lawyer, a public defender will be provided for you.
2. Know Your Rights
It can be confronting and consuming after an arrest, so you need to know your rights when it comes to criminal law.
At the time of arrest, you should be read your Miranda rights, which will give you the right to remain silent. Although it’s always in your best advantage to be respectful to the arresting officers, you don’t need to say anything that could risk self-incrimination or that could be used against you in court.
3. Expect to Be Searched
If you’ve been arrested, the police may search your home, vehicle, office, or any other property, such as a boat or storage unit. You may not be happy about this, but if the police have a valid search warrant, then it’s within their rights.
They are usually looking for evidence and may leave the home messier than they found it. Warn your family, if they’re living at the same property, that a search may occur.
It feels like your privacy is being violated—however, if you have concerns about the legality of the search, speak to your lawyer.
4. Remember to Stay Calm
Being arrested can be one of the scariest times of your life. Although it seems tough, try your hardest to stay calm. If you can deal with everything with a positive attitude, you’ll be through the process before you know it.
5. Prepare for Arraignment
After arrest, you’re likely to go through an arraignment. An arraignment, or initial hearing, is where you go in front of a judge, learn more about your charges, and then the judge decides if you’ll be released on bail or if you’ll be held in jail until the time of your trial.
Your lawyer will advise and help you throughout the whole process, fighting for your case.
Protect Your Rights If You’ve Been Arrested
After a criminal arrest, you may be unsure what to do and scared, so try to follow the steps above to look after yourself.
Being involved in criminal proceedings is never an enjoyable experience, but with legal guidance and understanding, you’ll get the best possible outcome. Now that you know what to expect after an arrest, you hopefully will feel more prepared as to how you can navigate the criminal justice system.
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