Understand the Arrest Process
Remain Silent During Transport and Booking: In California, following an arrest, you will typically be transported to a local jail for booking. It’s crucial to remember that any conversation with officers can be used against you in court. Police vehicles often have recording equipment, so it’s advisable to remain silent even inside these vehicles.
Understand Your Rights Regarding Phone Calls: While many believe there is a constitutional right to a phone call after being arrested, this is not the case. California Penal Code may allow for a phone call, but it is not a guaranteed right.
Exercise Caution During Phone Calls: If you are permitted to make a phone call, be concise and avoid discussing case details. Calls from detention facilities are typically monitored and recorded. Use the opportunity to inform a trusted contact of your location and the need for a criminal defense attorney.
Do Not Discuss Your Case with Police: After your arrest, police may attempt to interrogate you. It’s important to remember that police cannot offer leniency or make deals in exchange for information. Exercise your right to remain silent until you have legal representation.
Limit Case Discussions to Your Attorney: Discuss your case exclusively with your criminal defense attorney. Conversations with others, including cellmates or family members, are not protected and could be used in court. Additionally, refrain from discussing your case on social media or any public forum.
Immediate Actions to Take:
Contact an Attorney: As soon as you’re arrested or learn you’re under investigation, call a lawyer. Legal representation is your fundamental right and key to navigating the process ahead.
Request an Attorney During Interrogations: Inform law enforcement that you want an attorney present during any questioning or line-up. This is a crucial step in safeguarding your rights.
Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent: Clearly state to the police that you choose to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you, so this right is vital.
Be Truthful with Your Lawyer: Provide accurate information to your attorney. Misleading your legal counsel can negatively impact your defense strategy.
Actions to Avoid:
Avoid Speaking to Police Without a Lawyer: Even if you believe you have nothing to hide, do not talk to the police without consulting your attorney first. Innocent statements can be misinterpreted and used against you.
Do Not Discuss Your Case: Keep details of your case between you and your lawyer. Avoid discussing it with friends, family, or cellmates, as they could be subpoenaed to testify.
Do Not Influence Witnesses or Victims: Attempting to alter witness or victim statements can lead to further legal complications and charges.
Do Not Resist Arrest: Resisting or fleeing from police can exacerbate your situation, potentially leading to additional charges.
Do Not Sign Any Documents: Without your attorney present, refrain from signing any documents, regardless of the pressure or promises made.