If the police cuff you in California for committing a crime, you need to avoid certain mistakes. Seek advice from a criminal defense attorney in California to act responsibly in this unexpected event.
The following list offers helpful tips on acting responsibly if facing this unexpected event. You can use the following list as a reminder, as knowing what to do is just as important as knowing what not to do.
Table of contents
- Keep the Following Tips in Mind
- Only Discuss the Details of Your Case with a Lawyer
- Fleeing the Scene Will Add to Your Charge(s)
- Learn How to Respond: Beware of the Following
- How Your Criminal Defense Attorney Will Prevent You From Making Errors?
- Negotiating a Plea Bargain: Don’t Make These Mistakes
- Defending Your Case: Don’t Make the Following Errors
- Why Hiring an Attorney Helps You Avoid Making Legal Errors and Disputes?
- Contact a California Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately
Keep the Following Tips in Mind
- Do cooperate with the police. You don’t have to be super friendly. Just make sure you avoid arguing or deferring to your captors.
- Don’t resist arrest. This means you don’t want to issue threats, try to flee, or refuse to get handcuffed. Whatever the police can interpret as resisting can only add to your charges or harm you.
- Do stay calm. While it may be challenging to do, remind yourself to keep calm. You’ll only get into more trouble if you choose to be aggressive.
- Don’t answer questions that are not related to basic contact details. The police can use that information against you.
- Do remember that getting arrested is not the same as getting convicted. You have a right to a defense, so an arrest does not mean you cannot avoid a conviction.
- Don’t discuss details of your case when you’re on a jail phone. Law enforcement records jail phone calls. Therefore, you don’t want to discuss your case's specifics over the telephone.
- Do ask for legal help. Once the police arrest you, you need to ask for legal counsel. When you do that, the police have to stop interrogations. Call a criminal defense lawyer to protect your rights who can provide a remedy for your defense.
- Don’t talk to your cellmates. The prosecutor may dredge up conversations you had in jail. Therefore, if you don’t want the finger pointed your way, you want to keep your mouth shut unless you’re speaking to an attorney.
Only Discuss the Details of Your Case with a Lawyer
How you communicate with the police can make you break you.
Comply fully with the instructions given by the arresting officers. Once more, stay calm. Refrain from arguing or making movements that the police may perceive as threatening. Always keep your hands visible. Resisting arrest or assaulting an officer is a felony that will lead to severe legal repercussions.
You won’t gain points either for lying to the police. Instead, exercise your right to remain silent while remaining cooperative and polite. Once more, save any discussions for your lawyer.
Fleeing the Scene Will Add to Your Charge(s)
Never attempt to flee from the police or escape. This will likely result in very adverse outcomes, such as evading arrest. Under Vehicle Code 2800.1, you can be charged with a misdemeanor of up to a one-year jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000 if you flee from a law officer. Your car may also get impounded for 30 days.
Accept that you are arrested and refrain from escalating the situation. Running away only creates an appearance of guilt.
Learn How to Respond: Beware of the Following
- The police may use deception - Legally, law enforcement officers can employ deceptive tactics. Therefore, they may make false promises to obtain a confession or statement. For example, they might claim that your friend has already confessed or suggest that admitting guilt might make things much more manageable. These assertions may not actually be factual. Consulting with your lawyer is critical for determining the best course of action to take.
- An arrest may affect your memory and judgment - The shock and stress of being arrested often can affect your memory and judgment. As a result, you might inadvertently misrepresent details or say things that you later regret. That’s why it’s wisest to speak with the police when accompanied by your lawyer. They can think clearly on your behalf.
- Avoid waiving your rights - Engaging in conversations with the police without understanding the implications can lead to waiving your Miranda rights or the right to remain silent. Even if you’re confused or emotional at the time, what you say can be used against you. That’s why having your lawyer take the lead and act on your behalf is crucial. While waiting for your lawyer to arrive, avoid saying anything that might legally hurt you. Unless you require some assistance, it’s best to remain silent.
- Confiding in police officers off the record - Remember, there’s no such thing as a confidential conversation with the police. Please don’t fall for it. It’s best to remain quiet, even if officers make promises that your statements will not affect your case - they will.
- Don’t proclaim your innocence - While you might feel the temptation to declare you’re innocent or offer an explanation for your arrest, resist the temptation. The police can take your words out of context. Again, that’s why you need to contact a lawyer.
- Exercise caution before being booked - Again, exercising caution means refraining from saying anything. The police may try to get you to remark about our arrest, whether or not they formally book you.
- Cooperate with requests from law enforcement even if you believe they are violating your rights - It is essential to comply with any requests made by the police during an interaction or arrest. Even if you think you haven't done anything wrong, it's not the time to wage a dispute.
- Follow verbal instructions – Simply do as the officer tells you. You’re not in the position to do anything else.
How Your Criminal Defense Attorney Will Prevent You From Making Errors?
Because you can’t talk yourself out of an arrest, It’s best to get on the phone and speak to a lawyer right away. Your attorney will provide you with guidance on what steps to take to ensure your rights are protected.
A lawyer can also work toward securing your release, reducing bail, or having your charges dropped. A court may dismiss your charges if there is a lack of evidence or your arrest ends up being unlawful.
After your release, you need to collaborate with your attorney immediately. Again, it’s essential to be totally truthful and provide all the details about your arrest. That way, your attorney will have a better and more precise understanding of all the circumstances surrounding the event.
When your attorney receives this info, they’ll work at proving your innocence, reducing the plea, or getting the charges thrown out of court.
The Role of an Attorney in Your Criminal Defense
Feeling confused and anxious after being arrested is entirely normal. The best course of action to take is to remain composed while working with your attorney.
Initially, your attorney will strive to secure your release by promising your appearance in court and by posting bail on your behalf. They will then represent you during your arraignment, usually entering a plea of not guilty on your behalf.
Negotiating a Plea Bargain: Don’t Make These Mistakes
To avoid going through a trial, prosecutors frequently offer plea bargains. Your defense lawyer will assess whether accepting a deal aligns with your interests. If it does, they will work towards negotiating the most favorable terms possible with respect to fines and jail or prison time.
An attorney will make sure that you have an understanding of all the terms before you agree to any agreement. If a plea bargain is not appropriate, your lawyer will prepare a strong defense for your upcoming trial.
Never accept a plea bargain if any of the following conditions warrant a different response.
Six Situations Where You Should Not Accept a Plea Bargaining
It can be a mistake to accept a plea bargain when:
- You are innocent - Pleading guilty or no contest to a crime you did not commit avoids the hassle of going to trial but also leads to an unjust punishment. Firmly asserting your innocence is better, as a guilty verdict will appear on your criminal history.
- The plea deal includes inaccurate facts - If the factual basis underlying the plea contains errors, correcting the record is wiser, even if it risks the plea deal.
- You don't understand the terms fully - Make sure you comprehend the sentencing recommendations fully and the specifics of probation/parole when making a deal.
- There is a reasonable chance of acquittal at trial - If strong evidence suggests acquittal, declining a bargain can pay off.
- The plea restrictions are too stringent - Terms of probation, length of sentencing, or punishments might be disproportionate to the crime. A trial may be preferential over a plea deal.
- The plea includes registration as a sex offender - The severe stigma here warrants fighting questionable charges vigorously.
Consult counsel, evaluate objectively, negotiate terms, and only accept a plea bargain that is ethical and proportional based on the actual offense.
Defending Your Case: Don’t Make the Following Errors
During your trial, your attorney will cross-examine witnesses, object to any improper evidence or lines of questioning, and argue why the prosecuting attorney has not proven the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.
They will present any evidence and testimonies that support your innocence to raise doubt in the minds of the jury. Therefore, the outcome of your case greatly depends on the skills and experience of your defense attorney.
However, the results are also contingent on your behavior. Don’t make the following errors if your case goes to trial.
Why Hiring an Attorney Helps You Avoid Making Legal Errors and Disputes?
While facing any type of legal trouble can be overwhelming, having a good lawyer by your side can provide you with peace of mind and guidance through a challenging period. An experienced lawyer can offer you the following advantages.
They Are Well Versed in Law
Attorneys spend years studying law and continuously stay updated with any changes over time.
They possess knowledge of evidentiary rules, police protocols, and certain details involving your rights.
Your attorney can thoroughly evaluate the specifics of your case to determine if the police violated any of your rights or if they followed procedures properly. If law enforcement breaches any laws or rights, your lawyer can have the court exclude some of the evidence or drop your charges entirely.
They Will Stand Up for You
Once the police arrest you, it's important to remember that the police and prosecutors are not on your side. Their objective is to build a case against you rather than establish your innocence.
Your lawyer is the one who will advocate for you and strive to achieve the possible outcome. They can engage in negotiations with prosecutors, challenge assertions, and present evidence and testimonies that support your perspective.
Remember, under the law, you’re presumed innocent unless you’re proven guilty. Your attorney will take this responsibility seriously.
They Can Reduce Charges or Get the Case Dismissed
In many instances, attorneys have successfully managed to reduce charges or even have cases dismissed before they reach trial. Your lawyer will carefully examine all aspects surrounding your arrest to identify any weaknesses in support of your defense.
If they discover issues related to the material evidence, witness testimonies, or police procedures, they may file motions seeking suppression of the evidence or dismissal of the charges.
Even if the case ends up going to trial, your attorney can engage in negotiations to secure plea deals to reduce penalties.
Contact a California Criminal Defense Lawyer Immediately
The biggest mistake you can make after an arrest in California is delaying hiring a criminal defense attorney to represent you and handle your case. After an arrest, you need to have someone on your side as soon as possible - someone who will vigorously defend your freedom and future.
The right defense representation will help protect your future, as a Criminal, DUI, & License Defense lawyer will safeguard your rights and provide ongoing counsel on what to do or not to do during the process. You will not have to worry about saying or doing the wrong thing when you have experienced legal advice and defense assistance.