You’ve Been Arrested, Now What Happens?

by vanriperandnieslawyers on December 4, 2012

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Here are a couple rules and guidelines to follow if you have been arrested in Florida, United States.

1.         Be aware of all surrounding circumstances during time spent with the arresting officer in the patrol vehicle.

Once the officer has placed you in his vehicle, the officer may attempt to make small talk or what appears to be striking up a friendly conversation.  You may be tempted to explain your side of the story and respond to the officer. Don’t be tempted. Remember, after you have been arrested and are in his/her patrol car on the way to jail, you will not be set free. The police officer has already made the choice to arrest you. Anything you say is likely being recorded, and even if not, what you say can and will be used against you in the prosecution of your case.  Many patrol vehicles, especially those in transporting DUI defendants, are equipped with small cameras and microphones that record you and every word that you utter.  We advise that you sit up straight and say nothing in response. Instead, whenever you can write down all the details regarding your arrest, such as potential witness names and descriptions.

 2.        Be polite with the jail deputies, but remain silent about your case facts.

The experience of being jailed is disrespectful, hurtful and embarrassing.  However, criticizing the jail deputies will only make things much worse. You will not win such a battle. If you lash out at deputies, you will likely be more remembered that if you just exercised your right to remain silent. Tell the jail deputies that you wish to remain silent, but keep in mind that you should still be polite. Beyond providing the police ID info such as your name, address, and driver’s license, you are not obliged to answer any further questions, such as your prior arrest record, family information, job information, etc. In a recent case, after booking the defendant into jail, the deputy sheriff immediately called the employer of the defendant, causing an immediate suspension. Nothing will be accomplished by your speaking with the jail deputies. No matter how hard it may be to keep quiet, that is exactly what you should do.

3.         Obtain financial help, if needed, to post your bond and get out of jail as soon as possible.

Absolutely nothing good happens while you are in jail.  Witnesses need to be advised that their help is needed, as they should write down details while fresh in their memory.  Their statements should be taken. Physical evidence needs to be preserved rather than being washed away with rain, removed or otherwise destroyed. Spending unnecessary time in jail rather than immediately retaining a lawyer and working with her or him in obtaining evidence, taking statements, etc. is important to your defense.

4.       If your arrest is vehicle-related, recover your motor vehicle and have a friend or investigator take photos or even video footage of the inside and outside of the vehicle.

5.       Keep absolutely quiet about the details of your arrest and your defense while the case is pending.

While your case is active, the two best things you can do are to stay quiet about the facts of your case and do not get into any trouble. Our Deerfield Beach Florida criminal defense lawyers suggest that you speak only with your attorney.  You never know how your words can be used against you come trial. Theoretically, words you say while the case is active can be used against you. Your conversation with a colleague may come back at you if the prosecutor speaks with this coworker.  Talk to you attorney on how you should advise your employer about your arrest, as you will likely have to attend court appearances, etc. and miss work.  Equally as important is for you to keep out of trouble, meaning not even a traffic ticket.




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