What to Do if You Are Arrested

Unfortunately, most people do not have an attorney standing by and ready when they arrested for the first time. The most dangerous time for a person in this situation is the period before they are permitted to speak with their attorney. This time is often longer than it should be, and it may contain many challenges. With over twenty years practicing as a criminal defense lawyer in Massachusetts, I can help you get through this difficult situation.

When arrested, you should be read your Miranda rights. The following rights are included in the Miranda warning:

  • The right to remain silent.

  • That anything you say can be used against you in court.

  • That you have the right to an attorney, and to have the attorney present while you are being questioned.

  • And that if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.

These rights mean that you do not have to make excuses or statements regarding your current situation. You do not have to provide an alibi or explain yourself. You do not have to make any oral or written statements regarding your arrested.

My criminal defense practice has exposed me to countless cases in which my clients were tricked into making statements that harmed their legal interests before they could be counseled.

Do not sign anything voluntarily. If you are forced to sign or initial something, instead write “I want my lawyer” next to every spot that you are asked to sign.

When you are arrested, you should:

  • Ask to see an attorney.

  • Tell the police your name and address; this is the only question you must answer.

  • Relax; staying calm is the key.

  • Do not resist, touch, threaten, or argue with any police officer.

  • Do not consent to any search. If the police say they have a search warrant, ask for a copy. Do not interfere with the search.

  • Ask if you are under arrest, or if you can leave. If you can leave, leave immediately and contact me or another criminal defense attorney.

  • If you have been arrested, ask what you are being charged with.

  • Stay silent. Anything that you say can be used against you in court.

Remember that police are allowed to mislead, trick, and lie to you in order to get what they want. They are not trying to help you.

Being arrested is a frightening experience. Stay calm, stay silent, and seek the advice of an attorney as quickly as possible. If you have further questions, feel free to contact me. I know your rights, and I will protect them.