Under Arrest? What to Do Next

January 9, 2023
drug dealer under arrest confined with handcuffs and hands at his back

“You have the right to remain silent…”

Those words are emblazoned in our heads by Hollywood and dozens upon dozens of cop shows, crime movies, and the like. However, the reality of being under arrest is as far from the stereotypical experience as snow is in a hot desert. Once in a while, things converge, but it is sometimes forgotten. 

In reality, what is technically known as one of the Miranda Rights a suspect enjoys constitutionally is exercised only at the very last moment of an arrest process. 

A Bit of Law Enforcement Background

To understand why knowing how a real arrest works, one has to first understand the role of the police officer. Society sees them as the first line of defense against crime. Officers see themselves as an instrument of the law and the first contact to gather critical evidence for enforcing the law. 

When you become the focus of an officer’s attention, you could become the means where he procures the best type of evidence against you. Anything said to a law enforcement officer could be used as evidence that helps a case and allow an arrest stick, which could lead future incarceration and punishment.

Anticipate the Situation and Protect Yourself

Before thinking of anything else, your first three rules to follow for your best legal protection in an arrest involve the following if you can’t remember anything else at the moment:

  • Be cooperative – There is no sense being disrespectful to a police officer. They are there to protect the community and do their job. Being offensive doesn’t help you.
  • Be prepared to identify yourself – A police officer has the authority to seek identification. Unless you are wanted, there is no harm in doing this. If you are, in fact, wanted, then you have already been caught and attempting to conceal your identity at that point is not likely to help.
  • Stay silent about anything else – This is the most important for your personal Constitutional protection. Where the prior two rules govern decorum, this rule is in place to protect you. Remain silent because admissible statements are the easiest means to prove a case. 

While some officers will say things like they are just trying to get to the bottom of things and being forthcoming will help you in the end, it may not be a judgment call you should be making spontaneously. That is why asking for a lawyer is important. In your stress and nervousness, talking is the worst thing you can do as every statement becomes evidence when getting arrested. Exercising your right to remain silent or your right to counsel is the protection you have against making a decision that could wind up harming you.

Your Rights Don’t Wait For Someone to Say “Go”

Be ready to simply provide what’s necessary to identify yourself and then be patient. You have the right to remain silent immediately; there’s no need to wait to be told for it to apply. 

You are essentially detained (not free anymore) as soon as an officer restricts your ability to leave. And you have a right to remain silent and a right to an attorney’s presence before entertaining any questioning.

The first 48 hours after an arrest might be the scariest and most emotional, but hold on and get through it. Keep your rights in mind and don’t lose sight of the big picture. If after consulting with an attorney, giving a statement is determined to be beneficial, you can do it then. In other words, maintain control over your statements. After they are made, they can’t be unsaid.

Getting the Right Help Immediately

One of the most diligent Fairfax criminal attorney resources available is Rudolphi Law. After a Virginia arrest, call us for help as soon as possible. We can guide you in your decision-making process and help protect your Constitutional Rights.

As a criminal defense attorney in Fairfax, VA, we are your critical support when you need it the most. Criminal charges are stressful situations. You do not have to face these difficulties alone. 

Rudolphi Law will be right by your side throughout the entire process, defending your interests. Call us if you get arrested; the sooner we are involved, the better we can assist.