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What To Do If You Are Arrested

Probably the most intimidating thing that any person will encounter is being arrested.  Many people who are arrested have never been in jail before, and the TV shows and movies don’t do the system any real justice.  In fact, there are many differences with how the system really works and how the system is depicted on TV.  Therefore, here are a few general tips to keep in mind if you are arrested.

1.  Do not panic.

If you are arrested, there is little you can do at that moment (and little you should do), and fighting with the police will only make matters worse.  Therefore, if youare arrested, do two things right away.  First, go quietly.  In other words, say nothing.  The police want you to talk so you will make admissions they can later use in court against you.  Second, ask for your attorney.  You want to tell them right up front that you want an attorney, even if you cannot afford one.

2.  Miranda rights and questions.

There is a general misconception that once a person is arrested that the police have to read that person their rights.  This is simply not true.  The police do not have to read you your rights if they are not going to ask you questions.  Many people are amazed to hear this, but the police only have to read you your rights if they are going to ask you questions of an incriminating nature.  They are allowed to ask you biographical questions such as your name, address, date of birth, and a few others in order to fill out booking information. What they should not ask are questions like "where is the (gun, weapon, drugs, etc)", "why did you do it", and others.  If you are arrested, your best bet is to say noting except “I want my attorney” for every question asked.  This should stop their questions.

3.  Invoke all of your rights.

The Miranda case, and many of those that followed, taught us many things.  One lesson is to simply say nothing.  It can be a mistake to not respond because it is not a clear invocation of rights, and the police will often times keep interrogating.  Therefore, do no simply invoke or say nothing.  It is important to politely invoke all of your rights.  First, tell the police that to want to remain silent.  Second, tell them that you want your attorney, and third, tell them that you want to talk to your attorney now.  You probably will not be allowed to call your attorney right away, but ask anyways.

4.  Do not ask any questions.

Once you invoke your right to silence and have an attorney, the police are supposed to stop asking you questions.  They don’t always follow that rule so don't ask them anything.  Sometimes they will keep asking you questions hoping that you will say something because sometimes people do confess later.  If you do ask any questions, many police officers will take that as a sign that you are waiving your rights and that all bets are off.  In turn, they may start interrogating again.  Do not fall for this ploy.  Once you invoke your rights, stick to it.

5.  Talk only to your attorney.

If you are allowed to make a call, call your attorney (or any attorney if needed).  If you can’t reach your attorney and have to talk to someone, call someone who will call your attorney.  Don’t say anything about why they need to call your attorney, what is going on, or anything else because the call may be recorded, and naturally, anything you may say can be used against you later.  Also, do not talk to others who were also arrested or in the jail or holding areas.  These people may be informants and are more than happy to share information you have to save themselves.

6.  Do not talk to yourself.

While this may seem silly, arrested suspects are often put into holding areas or rooms for long periods of time by themselves.  This is a classic trick by the police because they know often times people will start talking to themselves and say things like "I shouldn't have done that" or "why did I do that".  These areas or rooms are almost always electronically monitored by audio, video, or both.  So, if you are alone, don’t say anything, and don’t do anything because your actions (such as trying to hide evidence) may show you doing something you may regret later.

7.  While being booked.

There are several things that may happen during the booking process (either at the police station or at the jail).  You may get fingerprinted, photographed, asked some biographical questions, and some other things.  You can cooperate with prints and photos, but always politely and frequently request your attorney.  If for some reason you are asked to appear in a lineup, or are taken somewhere like back to the scene, politely refuse and keep requesting your attorney.  After taking your prints and or photograph, you may be placed in another holding area or cell to wait to see a judge or some other person.

8.  In jail.

Soon after going to jail, you should go through a screening of some kind, then either be released or see a judge.  If ryou are released, contact your attorney right away and say nothing to anyone else.  If you see a judge, politely request to see your attorney and ask to be released.  Many things can happen at this stage so it is best not to do anything else without proper legal counsel.  Sometimes, a judge at the jail can arrange for counsel or a phone call.  If this happens, take advantage of this opportunity.

9.  If staying in jail.

If you not getting released and are staying in jail, don’t talk to anyone in jail and call your attorney as soon as possible.  If you have to talk to anyone else, remember that all calls are being recorded as well as all visits, and all phone calls are probably being recorded.  Also, do not talk in code believing that the police will not understand what the code words are.  If you try to talk in code, the police will likely think that you are talking about something illegal and interpret what you are saying that way for later use in court.

10.  If you are in Arizona, Call Attorney Rick Poster right away.

Attorney Rick Poster has worked many criminal cases in these early stages with success.  A positive outcome may depend on getting his quick and qualified legal counsel on your side right away.  Therefore, if you were arrested by any law enforcement agency, time is of the essence - don't delay.  Call attorney Rick Poster at 623-261-4532 to schedule your appointment or jail visit now.

If you live in any other state than Arizona, call a qualified attorney in your area as soon as possible.


If you have a difficult criminal case or serious charges, don't hesitate - call us now at 623-261-4532.