Six Things You Need to Remember After Being Arrested in Florida
You need to take all criminal charges, including misdemeanor charges, very seriously. It is normal to feel overwhelmed after being charged; arrests are always stressful, confusing and intimidating. Unfortunately, many people actually damage their own cases by making preventable mistakes immediately after or during an arrest. Do not let this happen to you. If you or a loved one has been arrested in Tampa, Florida, please keep the following six important tips in mind:
You should remain silent: You have a constitutional right that allows you to remain silent. During an arrest, you will likely be asked multiple invasive questions by responding police officers. Do not answer these questions. Instead, simply politely decline to answer and request access to your attorney. The bottom line is simple: You are not going to talk your way out of an arrest. Do not even try; you only risk incriminating yourself.
Do not consent to a search: You also have a constitutional right that protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures. Police officers do not have a right to search your house, vehicle, or person without probable cause. If you have been arrested, or if you are being detained by an officer, never willingly consent to a search. It is not your interest to do so. Of course, an officer may decide to conduct the search without your compliance. In that case, you should not resist the search. While the search may be illegal, your attorney will need to handle that issue in court.
Think about witnesses: Were there any witnesses to your arrest who could give a statement? If so, you will want to track them down as soon as possible. Get your attorney on the case to help you find and contact these witnesses.
Do not talk about your case: Never talk about the details of your case with anyone except your attorney. This includes police officers, your cellmate, your friends, or even your family. Anything you say could come back to haunt you. Only conversations with your attorney are truly confidential.
Know who is on your side: The police, correction officers, the prosecutor, and even the judge will not be on your side. They all have their own interests at stake. The only person you can rely on to look out for your best interests is your own attorney.
Hire an attorney: After an arrest, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to review your case and determine what needs to be done to protect your legal rights and financial interests. In some cases, it may be best to aggressively defend the charges, while in other cases, it may be better to focus on reducing your punishment. Regardless, you need an attorney by your side who fully understands what you are up against.
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If you have been arrested in Florida, please contact Pawlowski//Mastrilli Law Group. Our team provides aggressive legal representation to residents of Tampa and the surrounding communities, including Plant City, Safety Harbor, and Clearwater.