What should I do if I have been arrested?

RULE #1-Do not speak to the police!
RULE #2-See Rule #1

Most people feel they can best explain themselves to the police in the vain hope that the case will be dismissed. WRONG!!!

And here is the worst part of it. Even if you are innocent, opening you mouth can only hurt you. If you have been arrested, answer all questions about your identification — such as name, address, and birth date– truthfully. While you have the right to refrain from answering self-incriminating questions, lying is never a good idea. Giving officers a hard time during the arrest process is also not very beneficial. It usually just makes things tougher on you.   The most important position is to politely state, "I do not wish to talk to you. I want a lawyer".

If you have been arrested, answer all questions about your identification– such as name, address, and birth date– truthfully. While you have the right to refrain from answering self-incriminating questions, lying is never a good idea. Giving officers a hard time during the arrest process is also not very beneficial. It usually just makes things tougher on you.

A detective called my house (or left a business card) and wants to talk to me about a case. He says I am not a suspect. He says he wants to hear "your side of the story". Should I talk to him?

No! In most instances, when a detective calls you for "your side of the story" it means the police do not have a strong case against you. Going to meet with them can only strengthen their case against you. You open your mouth, even if it’s to say you didn’t do it, might solve some part of the puzzle of their investigation and suddenly, you’re the main suspect. And you get arrested on the spot, because you wanted to tell "your side of the story".

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What should I do if I get a call that a loved one has been arrested?

Try to gather as much information as possible about the arrest and write it down. The following questions may be useful:

  • What is the name, birth date, and social security number of the arrested person?
  • What have they been charged with?
  • What law enforcement agency made the arrest?
  • Where is the arrested person being held?
  • Has bail been set and, if so, what is the amount?

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Why should I hire a criminal defense attorney?

The importance of competent legal representation is so enormous that the Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant the right to an attorney. A criminal attorney is your best asset after being charged with a crime. This expert knows the laws and court customs relevant to your case, and can apply this knowledge to protect and maximize your legal interests. No matter what your legal situation, a criminal attorney will help you more than you could help yourself by going it alone. In fact, most judges will not even consider a plea bargain from a defendant without legal representation.

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What are my rights when the police question me?

You have the right to remain silent. But, if you choose to speak, anything you say can be used against you in court. If you decide to answer questions, you may stop answering them at any time. You have the right to consult with an attorney before answering any questions, and to have an attorney present during questioning.

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What property of mine can an officer search?

This is a complicated question that depends on many factors. Generally, if you are arrested in your home, the officers can conduct a limited search of the immediate area without a search warrant. If they find contraband, stolen property, or evidence of a crime, they can seize it. The officers can also check the rest of the house for accomplices. If you are arrested in your car, the officers can search for weapons you may use against them. They must have probable cause that the car contains contraband or evidence of a crime to conduct a general search of the car.

What is next? Call The Law Offices of Prosper A. Bellizia at (732) 455-5018. Mr. Bellizia is extremely experienced in criminal law, and can help you even if you did not call an attorney right away. When you call me, you will get an immediate response. I am usually available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, holidays and weekends included. Please do not hesitate to contact me at (732) 455-5018 now to arrange a free consultation.

It takes an attorney with the confidence and experience of a former prosecutor to properly deal with authorities when it comes to defending you against criminal charges. If you have been accused or charged with such a crime, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Bellizia immediately. Criminal matters are not problems that will go away when ignored. Early intervention in criminal matters, may achieve outstanding results, and will be instrumental to the outcome of your case.

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