Many things can happen to people when they are taken into custody by law enforcement. While the process can be violent, a person’s rights are still protected in all situations. If you find yourself in handcuffs, it is important to know what to do next and how the process works.
It is important to remember that it is your right as an American citizen to remain silent if detained or arrested by law enforcement and not incriminate yourself before doing so. By remaining silent, you are not admitting to a crime. You are simply exercising your right to remain silent.
The police may ask you questions to establish reasonable probable cause for the arrest, or they may tell you that they need your name and address and ask if you know why they have stopped you. If you do not wish to speak with the police at this time but wish to speak with a lawyer before speaking with them, politely tell them so. Do not speak without consulting with an attorney and understanding that the conversation is being recorded; most police record this conversation.
If I Am Arrested
If you are arrested, law enforcement will read you your rights. Do not be surprised if law enforcement declines to allow you to make a phone call or if the police inform you that they searched your property without a warrant.
While this is an intimidating process, do not feel threatened and remain calm. Law enforcement will want to extract information from you and take control of the situation to play one of the most essential cards in their deck: intimidation. Law enforcement will attempt to intimidate you by saying, “only a guilty person would refuse to speak with me.
Or you may be told to waive your rights. This is a lie. You are free to say anything you please.
You will likely be taken to a local station, placed in a cell, and informed that you are not under arrest but are being detained for further questioning. It is at this point your rights should come into play. You do not have to talk unless asked questions directly; otherwise, remain silent. Remain calm and do not exhibit any nervous behavior. The police will likely ask you why you were in the area, what you have to say about the traffic stop, and where you live, etc.
They will likely ask the same questions over and over. Many people answer their cell phones during this time; do not do this. While your first instinct may be to answer their questions at any personal cost, you must remain silent as much as possible here.
While at the station, you will be booked into the jail system. You will likely be fingerprinted and given a mug shot. You will not have the charges placed against you at this point; this process is designed to create records that will be used to ensure your release if you are found innocent of any charges.
Once your fingerprints are processed, you may be released from the station after being warned that you are still under arrest. If in doubt, call a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale as soon as possible to discuss your case with them and obtain a written waiver of your rights before giving any information at all.
Being Booked, Fingerprinted, and Investigated
After being booked, you will likely be fingerprinted and given a mug shot. While this can be invasive to your privacy, there is no need to worry. While being booked at the police station may seem like a traumatic experience, it is important that you remain calm and collected if you want the best results from your case.
Suppose you have been arrested and taken into custody for questioning or charged with any crimes. In that case, it is highly recommended that you contact a criminal defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale as soon as possible to protect your rights and your liberty.
The Officer May Not Be a Police Officer
While it is rare, police can conceal their identity when they approach you because they do not wish to be identified by the public. Ask them to show a badge or identification card to know if you are dealing with a police officer. If they refuse, contact an attorney immediately, as you may be dealing with an impostor with bad intentions.
If you get arrested in a state that does not recognize your out-of-state driver’s license, say nothing and call an attorney. If you are not under arrest, say nothing to the police and contact an attorney immediately. This is of the utmost importance for visitors of all types: tourists, visitors, friends visiting from a distance, and those on a business trip.
Detained for Further Investigation
You will be taken from the station to a holding area until the court processes your case. There you will be booked into the jail system. You will wait in a cell until being processed before going before a judge who will decide whether you are released or detained further. At the same time, your case is being investigated by another judge assigned to hear your case.