Legal Tips to Know After an Arrest

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( — May 23, 2023) — If you have been arrested in Arizona, then your next steps will be very important.  Your life, liberty, and happiness could be at stake. Contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible and remember the following legal tips after an arrest.  

Right to Remain Silent

All criminal defendants are protected under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution against self-incrimination.  This means that all criminal suspects have the right to remain silent and not offer any information that could be used against them at their trial.  A criminal defendant must be notified of their right to remain silent at the time of their arrest by being read their Miranda Rights by the arresting officer.  

It is always recommended that a criminal suspect not talk to the police and offer information.  One reason is that an officer or detective can try to trick a suspect into giving incriminating information.  Even innocent people sometimes become confused and say something that might hurt their case. Some people mistakenly believe it will look bad if they don’t talk to the police, but the 5th Amendment states that someone remaining silent cannot be used against them.  

Right to Counsel

The 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides that all criminal defendants have the right to an attorney.  This means that even if you cannot afford defense counsel, then you will still be provided one from the government if you wish.  Once a defendant gives a clear statement—such as, “I want an attorney”–, all questioning from law enforcement must immediately stop and the defendant must be provided counsel.  

 A Criminal Defendant May be Held, Released, or Granted Bail

After a police officer arrests a suspect, they will be detained.  A detention hearing will be held on whether the defendant can be released on bail, denied bail, or released on their own recognizance without needing to post bail.  A person who qualifies for bail can pay cash or get a bail bond, a type of loan.  If the defendant cannot post bail, they will remain in jail.  The majority of people who qualify for bail will end up posting bail.

The Arraignment is Where the Defendant is Criminally Charged

Shortly after an arrest, there will be a criminal arraignment.  An arraignment is a hearing in criminal court in front of a judge.  The arraignment is the formal proceeding in which the criminal charges against the defendant are officially presented.  At the hearing, the defendant must enter a plea; guilty, not guilty, or no contest to the charges.  The defendant should be represented by a criminal defense attorney to effectively understand the charges against them and knowingly enter a plea.  

Contact a Criminal Lawyer Immediately

Any criminal defendant must have a qualified attorney to aid their defense.  Depending on the charges, a person convicted of a criminal offense could face probation, fines, jail time, or the death penalty.   A defendant should not talk to police or enter a plea until they have talked with counsel.  If you or a loved one has been arrested, contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in Tucson, AZ.