Getting arrested is terrifying enough, but there are a lot of scary things to come. Going
through arraignment, posting bail, and so much else alone is not ideal, so getting an attorney at
this time is imperative. Whether you actually did what you are being charged with or not, there is
some advice that would be good to follow when you are arrested. In the case of a felony, these
points are even more so important to look through. You are walking on a fine line when being
charged with felony, so doing everything correctly could make a big difference in the end.
Your Fifth Amendment rights give you the right to not incriminate yourself. By keeping
yourself quiet upon an arrest you are giving yourself the best chance to not incriminate yourself.
Doing so does not mean you should be disrespectful or rude. Do what the police officers say
and when asked questions simply reply that you would like to exercise your right to stay silent.
Once in custody, continue to exercise that right until you are able to see your lawyer. Someone
may try to ask you questions, but remaining consistent that you would like to speak to your
attorney first will help you in the long run.
Contact Your Attorney
If you already have an attorney, then use your first chance at a phone call to get them
there as soon as possible. You may not have an attorney, so you should call a trusted family
member or friend that would be able to get you a good attorney. Having an attorney throughout
the process of being arrested and charged with a felony will allow them to guide you and
prevent mistakes. Lawyers know the ins and outs of the law, so they will be able to help you
when talking to police officers, deciding on a plea and making any next steps. Most of all, they
are there to show you how to not set yourself up for an easy conviction. Attorneys are
imperative when you are trying to get the best deal you can get.
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Talk to Your Attorney
Be honest with your attorney. You may feel like you can’t fully trust your attorney, but
know that you are protected by attorney-client privilege. Your attorney can’t share any
information with anyone without the likelihood of facing the state bar with the potential of losing
their license. If your attorney knows all the facts, then they will be able to give you the best
advice they can based on what you say. The more accurate the information you give them, the
more prepared they will be for anything the prosecutors may throw at you.
Don’t Discuss With Others
While you should be honest with your attorney, you shouldn’t discuss your case with
family members and friends. Anything you discuss with them is not protected by confidentiality
rules, so anything you say can be used against you if they go to the authorities. For spouses,
this is a little different. Spouses have the right to not testify against their spouse if they choose
not to. Even with that clause, not talking about your case until it is over is your best option. The
less they know the better for you and them.
Your attorney is working hard to get you off the best they can, but you have to work hard
as well. Be sure to show up to all your meetings and court proceedings. Stay out of any more
trouble and stay away from those that are known for getting into trouble. Your attorney can use
that in your case to show you are already trying to get your life back together and that this is a
one time offense or help show you didn’t do it. Whatever the case may be, staying accountable
will only help you get yourself through the charges and case.
A felony charge is serious as well as hard to understand and get through. You may feel
like you don’t need an attorney and that you can handle it yourself, but that is probably not the
case. Taking on experienced officers or prosecutors alone is not ideal, so get a good attorney to
help you not have a felony charge on your record. Having an attorney will help you from
beginning to end and get you through all of it with the best outcome.