Being arrested for an alleged crime can be a frightening and stressful experience. It is important, however, to realize that you have rights you must protect. There are things you can do if you’re arrested in Massachusetts that can drastically improve your odds of winning a criminal case.
If you believe you are going to be arrested in Massachusetts, take the following steps to avoid making a bad situation worse. If you or a loved one has already been arrested, contact a criminal defense attorney in Middlesex County right away for help.
Try to remain calm despite the nerve-wracking situation. Do not let your temper or emotions get the best of you. Do not yell at the arresting police officer, try to fight the officer or run away. This could result in greater legal trouble, such as additional criminal charges for assaulting an officer or resisting arrest. In addition, you could suffer serious physical injuries if the officer sees it as a reason to use physical force.
Remember, being arrested is not the same as being convicted of a crime. Your time for fighting the charges will come later, at your trial. During your arrest, do not give your permission to search your property. No matter how the police officer tries to intimidate you, he or she does not have the right to search your vehicle, your home or your body without your permission or a search warrant. Be polite but clear in your refusal.
While you are being handcuffed, you should be read your Miranda rights by the arresting officer. Listen to these, as they outline the rights that you have as a suspect or criminal defendant. Exercising these rights can dramatically improve your ability to defend yourself against criminal charges. One of the most important Miranda rights is the right to remain silent.
During and after your arrest, use your constitutional right to remain silent. Other than giving your name, you do not legally have to answer any questions asked by a police officer or investigator. Rather than risk saying the wrong thing, say nothing until you have an attorney present. Politely explain that you will not be answering any questions until your attorney arrives.
You have the right to remain silent during your arrest and throughout the criminal justice process, including during police interrogations and while you are in a holding cell. Do not make small talk with the police during your arrest or booking. Anything you say can be twisted around and used by the prosecutor against you later.
It is also important not to talk to cellmates or anyone on the phone about your case. These conversations are recorded or may be overheard and used against you. Use your one phone call to request bail or arrange for an attorney to meet you in the morning. Keep your conversation brief. Not talking about your case to anyone is one of the main tips you will receive from a criminal defense attorney.
Contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible for legal assistance. An attorney will know what to do from the very beginning for the strongest possible defense. Most criminal defense lawyers offer free initial consultations, so you can receive legal advice at no charge or obligation to hire the attorney. Use your consultation to gather basic information about the criminal charges you are facing, as well as what to do next.
If you are charged with any type of crime in Massachusetts, hiring a criminal defense lawyer can drastically improve the outcome of your case. Your lawyer will have proven defense strategies to use, either to try to dismiss the charges or arrange a plea deal for lesser penalties. Your lawyer can help you through every phase of a criminal lawsuit, from your first arraignment hearing to the criminal trial. For more information about what to do if you’re arrested in Massachusetts, contact Spring & Spring Law Firm for a free legal consultation.