Conroe Criminal Defense Attorney - Top 3 things to do after you've been arrested.
Conroe Criminal Defense Attorney - Brian Foley - Board Certified in Criminal Law.
Its like a nightmare, you're sitting in the back of a patrol car with your hands behind your back and your wrists are in pain because steel handcuffs are locking them together. How did this happen? What do I do now?
3. BOND OUT OF JAIL
The first thing that is going to happen to you if you have been arrested is they are going to take you to jail. If you've been arrested in Conroe, Texas then they are going to take you to the Montgomery County Jail at 1 Criminal Justice Dr, Conroe, TX 77301. They are going to book you in by taking your mug shot and fingerprints. Once this is done you will have a chance to either bond out or see the Judge the following morning at Probable Cause court. Here the judge can set a bond if one hasn't been set already, inform you of your legal rights, or even reduce your bond amount if you can't afford to pay the bond set by the prosecutor. A bond is basically a contract with a private company called a bondsman where they typically charge 10% of the amount that the court sets for your bond and agree to pay the rest in the event that you don't show up to court. For example if your bond is set by the Judge at $10,000 a bondsman may have you or a family member agree to pay $1,000 before "posting the bond."
2. HIRE A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
If you didn't understand every word of that last paragraph, just think about the thousands of pages of evidence rules, penal code, and code of criminal procedure that surrounds every criminal case. Take a look at some of my past blog posts about the rules of evidence at a trial. They are second nature to me but for someone who isn't a lawyer it can be extremely confusing. Representing yourself is called going "pro se." If it isn't latin for "idiot" then it should be. There is an old saying that the man who represents himself has a fool for a client. But if you need more convincing, I've never seen a criminal defense attorney who was charged with a serious crime represent themselves. AND THEY DO IT FOR A LIVING. Call someone who works regularly in the jurisdiction that you are charged in. Talk with an attorney and go with the one that you trust, because eventually you may need to make a difficult decision and if you cannot trust the person advising you about your case then you have wasted the money that you spend on them.
1. SHUT UP!
The number one thing you can do to help yourself get out of legal trouble is to SHUT UP! Nobody who was already under arrest has ever helped themselves out by making a statement to police. You cannot talk your way out of the handcuffs. Even if all you say is that you were there but nothing happened, they may not have been able to prove that you were even there until you opened your mouth. If a police officer is interested in talking to you about something the best answer is always, "I'd be glad to help after talking with my attorney." At this point the police must "scrupulously honor" your request for an attorney. What that means in reality is that they are going to finish arresting you and taking you to jail, which they were likely to be doing in the first place if they have already put you in cuffs. But this advice of shutting up doesn't just stop with the police. You should not tell anyone, anything about your case other than your criminal defense attorney. Let me say that again because people assume that their spouse, mother, best friend, and sometimes facebook or instagram audience doesn't count. You should not tell ANYONE, ANYTHING about your case other than your criminal defense attorney. Okay, you're allowed to tell your bondsman your name and what you were charged with and when you were arrested. BUT THAT'S IT!
I hope this is helpful to you . . . well actually I hope it never comes in handy for you. But if it does I hope that you know what to do!
BORING LEGAL DISCLAIMER
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For attorneys: This Blog is informational and educational in nature and is not a substitute for Westlaw or other research and consultation on specific matters pertaining to your clients. As you know the law can change day to day based on recent case opinions. And unfortunately you shouldn't cite it in court as binding authority because it is not. Mention it to your friends, just seek real consultation if its something important.