Being arrested and charged with a crime is a scary experience, and it might seem like the natural thing to do to try to talk your way out of it. The truth is, you do have the right to remain silent -- and you should. If you find yourself in trouble with the law or charged with a crime, there are some basic things that you should keep in mind and be prepared for.
If you find yourself charged with a crime or under arrest:
Keep quiet. You have heard it said, but it bears repeating: stay quiet and don't talk. Give your name and contact information, provide identification if requested. However, decline to talk or answer questions if you are looking at being arrested or if you fear that you will be charged with a crime.
Be cooperative. It doesn't help to blow off the handle or become agitated when dealing with the authorities. Be cooperative and respectful; avoid the potential of racking up additional charges. Furthermore, acting out only validates and seems to reinforce your guilt; do yourself a favor and behave.
Stay honest. Giving a false name or providing someone else's identification when asked by the authorities constitutes fraud, which is a punishable felony. Stay calm and be honest in what information you provide, and keep these responses simple and to the point.
Plan on a tow. If you are pulled-over and arrested, your vehicle will likely be towed. This means that it will be in the impound lot whenever you are bailed out or free. Plan on paying a hefty towing charge and storage fees, even if your car is only there for a very short time.
Call your attorney. Perhaps the most important tip that you should heed if you find yourself charged with a crime is to contact a criminal attorney. If you don't have one on retainer, ask that one be appointed by the jurisdiction that is charging or arresting you. Even if you don't have legal counsel yet, you can invoke your rights and ask for one before being interviewed, questioned, or talking with the authorities.
Keep your wits if you find yourself under arrest or being charged with committing a crime. Remain quiet and maintain composure during this stressful and difficult time. Call your lawyer or make a request for a criminal attorney, like one from Mesenbourg & Sarratori Law Offices, before speaking with the authorities, particularly if you fear repercussions or implication in a crime.
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