If you’re arrested, you probably won’t know what to do. Do you remain silent? Do you call a lawyer? What can you say in your defense? These are all questions that may cross your mind in a stressful moment. If you are arrested for a crime, the situation will feel very real, but it’s important not to panic and know what to do.

Being accused of a crime is scary for anyone; however, it isn’t the end of the world. You don’t need to panic, but you should take action as soon as possible. When you are arrested for — or charged with — a crime, there are several things you can do to better your circumstances.

You don’t need to let the arrest follow you for the rest of your life; with some help and planning, you can move past this event quickly and efficiently. Here is what to do if you’re accused of committing a crime.

Stay calm

This might seem odd to put first on the list, but it is crucial. If you freak out and start getting anxious, the police are going to notice — and they will use that to their advantage.

They might wrongly assume you have something to hide. You will be in a better position if you stay calm and reserved. Remember that you have rights, and the police also have certain obligations.

If they are treating you poorly, you can insist on your rights. If you remain calm and polite, the police will be less likely to misinterpret your actions.

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Know Your Rights (And Exercise Them)

The more knowledgeable you are about your rights, your situation will improve. Some of the most important rights to know to include the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, the right to a search warrant, and the right to a free attorney if you can’t afford one. These rights exist to protect you:

The right to remain silent – You have the right to remain silent at all times, even when you are being arrested. If you talk to a police officer, you could accidentally admit to a crime you didn’t commit.

The right to an attorney – You have the right to an attorney, so don’t sign any documents or make any statements without a lawyer present.

The right to a search warrant – Police can’t search your home without a warrant. If they try to search your home without a warrant, you have the right to refuse.

The right to a free attorney is perhaps one of the best parts of any legal system. With this right, you don’t have to pay for an attorney — the state will provide one for you. This takes the financial burden off your shoulders, which can help if you’re completely new to the criminal justice system and don’t have much money to spend on a lawyer.

Find a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible

If you’re arrested or charged with a crime, you must have a lawyer. You don’t have to defend yourself if you don’t want to, and you don’t have to find a lawyer right away — but if you want a better outcome, you need to get one.

Your attorney will be able to help you navigate the complicated criminal justice system and will be able to give you advice on ways to better your situation.

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Additionally, defense attorneys have special privileges when it comes to accessing information about your case, so they can gather the information you don’t have the time or resources to get.

Hiring an attorney as soon as possible helps you build a better defense and will allow you to have more time to prepare your case.

Consult With Your Attorney before Talking to Police

Whatever they ask you, your lawyer should be the first person you talk to. If you don’t have a lawyer yet or don’t know who your lawyer is, politely decline to answer any questions until you have a lawyer.

You can say something like, “I’d like to answer your questions once I have a lawyer present. Is that okay?” Whatever you do, don’t lie to the police.

Lying to the police can make your situation even more complicated and can lead to more severe penalties if you’re found guilty later. Instead, tell the truth as much as possible — but don’t feel pressured to give information.

Be honest with your lawyer

If you choose to plead Not Guilty and fight the charges, make sure that you are completely honest with your lawyer. Being honest about the case from the beginning is the only way to get a good outcome.

If your lawyer thinks you’re hiding something, he or she won’t be able to do their job properly. If you make a mistake, be honest about it.

Your lawyer can’t help you if you make up a story and pretend it’s true. It’s better to admit to a mistake than to try to cover it up.

Document the Events That Led to Your Arrest

Just like in a domain appraisal process where your web traffic determines the value of your website domain, so also do your evidence determine to a large extent how valid your defense would be, this might sound like a weird comparison, but the scenario remains the case when you’re charged with a crime.

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If you’ve been charged with a crime, your lawyer will want to know as much information as possible. Keep a detailed record of everything that happened leading up to your arrest. This might include things like text messages, emails, pictures, or other documents.

If you’re ever in a situation where you’re accused of committing a crime and want to fight the charges, having information to back up your side of the story is crucial. This record can help your lawyer build a more accurate and effective defense.

Remember That It’s About the Evidence

If you have been charged with a crime, the best approach is to assume that the evidence against you is strong. Don’t assume that you can talk your way out of this situation or that a clever lawyer will fix everything.

Instead, look at the situation objectively and figure out what you can do to help your lawyer. If you committed the crime, you have a lot of work ahead of you. The only real way to fix this situation is to find a way to prove that the evidence against you isn’t valid.

Know Your Bail Options

Your lawyer will help you with this, but you should know what bail is and how it works. Bail is the amount of money you will have to pay in order to be released from jail while your case is being processed.

The amount of bail that you have to pay will be determined by the judge and will be based on several factors, including how serious the crime is and how likely you are to attempt to flee the country.

Wrapping up

All in all, if you’ve been charged with a crime, it’s important to take action as soon as possible. Stay calm, know your rights, find a lawyer as soon as possible, and remember that it’s about the evidence. Doing these things can help you better your circumstances and make the process a lot easier.

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