I’ve been arrested
Whether you’ve been arrested for probable cause that you violated the law or the Courts issued a warrant for your arrest, the most important first step is to remain calm and request an attorney. You will be taken into custody by the police; respectfully following instructions and providing basic information (such as address and birthdate) should keep this process peaceful and expediated. Requests from police for consent to search your premises are common by the police but not suggested; letting them follow the legal process of acquiring a warrant is well within your rights.
Whenever the police want to speak further, you should continue to request a lawyer and then remain silent under Fifth Amendment protection. Not speaking doesn’t indicate guilt, and the police are allowed to lie to you and promise to cut deals that they have no authority to do, so there is very little advantage to communicating. Listening for your Miranda Rights to be read/recited to you and noting when that happens will be of interest to your attorney.
The next steps include a search of yourself and your belongings being taken and inventoried. You’ll then be “booked,” which includes fingerprinting and being photographed for the record. Before arraignment before a Judge, you should be able to contact an attorney of your private choice or one appointed by the Court to represent you. An experienced Criminal Defense attorney can handle your arraignment and possible release, with bail if required, and walk you through the charges against you. In addition, your attorney will be able to review all evidence collected against you and develop the best defense for you in the future.
Being arrested under probable cause doesn’t mean you will be convicted by a Judge or Jury requiring proof beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced Criminal Defense attorney can make all the difference.