First Steps to Take After Being Arrested

Know how to prevent a bad situation from getting worse.

No matter what the circumstances, being arrested is stressful, emotional, and brings every day life to a screeching halt. First, know that trying to avoid arrest by fleeing the scene will only make things worse. Do not make any attempt to strike out at anyone. You may be understandably upset by what is happening, but staying and being cooperative with law enforcement will make things much easier on you in the long run. Resisting arrest is in fact a criminal offense all on its own.

Remember to avoid talking. You have a right to avoid self-incrimination. The temptation to shout out claims of innocence or explain a misunderstanding can be strong. Do not give in. Law enforcement officers are gathering any evidence they can to build a case against you. Anything you say can come back to work against you later on. Do not give them any help. Even statements you think are proving your innocence or statements that seem harmless can come back in surprising ways to hurt you later on.

Now that you know what not to do after an arrest, here is what you should do. First and foremost, remember your Miranda rights. This means your right to remain silent. It also means your right to an attorney. Ask for a lawyer. Once you have requested a lawyer, law enforcement should not ask you any more questions. Consulting with an attorney right away can help preserve your legal rights and strengthen your chances at fighting criminal charges.

You will also need to secure bail. Bail bonds are used to secure your appearance at future court dates. If you attend all required court dates, your bail will be given back to you or whoever posted it on your behalf. If you fail to appear in court, you effectively forfeit your bail and a bench warrant for your arrest will be issued. You can post the required bail bond amount through:

  • Cash bond paid directly to the court;
  • Cash bond secured through a bail bonds company; or
  • Posting a property bond.

The most important thing to remember during and after an arrest is to remain calm and remain silent. Make note of the circumstances surrounding the arrest and what followed. Make sure you relay this to your attorney when you speak to them. Remaining calm and quiet will give you a stronger ability to fight things later on.