What Should I Do After An Arrest?

Counsel from a Ventura Criminal Attorney

At first, you may not be sure you are arrested. Sometimes officers do not announce that you are under arrest or read your Miranda rights. If you think you might be under arrest but aren’t sure, ask.

It is important to know if you have been arrested because once you are arrested you must comply with the officer’s request to search you and you must truthfully give your identifying information. Officers will be able to see the contents of your pockets and even to view what is in your wallet and, in some cases, they may even read text messages on your cell phone. You must follow the officer’s directions, although you do not need to answer questions other than to provide your basic identifying information.

If you or a loved one has been arrested. It is critical that you follow the following steps.

1. Do not talk to anyone except a lawyer about the situation
When faced with an arrest, it is natural to speak to everyone about your arrest and the facts surrounding the situation. Avoid during this at all costs since people you speak with could be used at witnesses against you. Only speak to your Ventura criminal defense attorney about the situation and no one else including loved ones and friends.

2. Find the Right Attorney
You should speak with an attorney immediately after arrest. If you are taken into custody, you have the legal right to contact the attorney of your choosing. California allows you to contact more than one person, so you can contact both your loved ones and an attorney

If you are concerned you are a suspect in an investigation, it is never too soon to consult with an attorney. Consulting with an attorney is not an admission of guilt; it is the only smart thing to do.

3. Behave while you are awaiting your court appearance
After you have been released after an arrest, it is important that you lead a very low profile life. Do not put yourself in situations which could compromise the outcome of the current charges against you. Secondly, do not break any type of law including any type of misdemeanor offense. Again, this could jeopardize the outcome of your current case.

4. Behave & dress appropriately in court
The perception you give in court will dramatically impact the outcome of your case. Dress respectively and do not wear tank-tops, sandals, or short skirts. Try to cover all visible tattoos and markings. Do not bring your children to court and if you must please bring something to keep them occupied. Only speak when spoken to and do not visibly show your emotions in the courtroom.

5. Prepare for the worst case possible
When faced with any type of criminal charge, it is best to prepare for the worst possible outcome. In the event, that you are sentenced to prison, you will be taken into custody immediately. If this were to occur, it is important to have your finances handed to a trusted person, childcare issues/guardianship and counseling for you and your family in preparation for the separation prison will bring.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE A PRIVATE ATTORNEY OVER A PUBLIC DEFENDER?

While many public defenders are fantastic, skilled lawyers who represent their clients to the utmost capability, the fact of the matter is that public defenders are government employees and subject to overwhelming caseloads, budget cuts, and bureaucratic politics. Even though you may attempt to persuade your public defender to look at your case from a different angle, or look more closely into the facts of your situation, a public cannot afford to give you the close, personal attention of a private attorney.

With a private criminal defense attorney, you are afforded the opportunity to consult with a lawyer who is able to give you their undivided attention. A private criminal defense attorney will likely have better resources at their disposal to respond to the many motions the District Attorney will file, and as a result will put you in a better position to face the minimum penalties possible.

At the Law Office of Christopher P. Welch, we take pride in our ability to work closely with our clients to establish their strongest legal defense. Our Ventura criminal defense lawyer will work tirelessly on your behalf and advocate zealously to defend your freedom.