What to Do After Being Arrested in New Jersey
How calmly asserting your constitutional rights leads to your best outcome
Being arrested can be frightening, infuriating and nerve-wracking. But giving into emotion at the crucial moment can have terrible consequences. The Anthony Pope Law Firm cautions anyone facing criminal charges: Don’t make things worse. As criminal defense attorneys for more than 30 years, we’ve seen too many instances of suspects trying to talk themselves out of an arrest who wind up talking themselves into a conviction. Here are a few brief rules of behavior for arrested persons:
- Take advantage of your right to remain silent
- Request an attorney
- Don’t talk to, or in the presence of, strangers
- Be patient and remain calm
Listen to your Miranda warning and act appropriately
If you are arrested, your first hint of how to act comes from the Miranda warnings: “You have the right to remain silent.” So do it. Don’t try to be clever and don’t think you can explain yourself. If you absolutely must speak, there’s a simple, eight-word phrase you can and should use: “I would like to speak to an attorney.” The second part of the Miranda warning declares that you have the right to an attorney. You should assert that right immediately. After you have requested an attorney, law enforcement cannot question you except with your criminal defense attorney present. You will benefit from whatever legal advice your attorney gives, as well as the emotional support of having someone on your side in the room with you.
Remember the walls have ears
If the police put you in holding with other detainees, don’t socialize. Criminals routinely use details of conversations they claim to have overheard to gain favors for themselves with the authorities. The last thing you want is to become buddies with an apparently sympathetic con man, who later appears at your trial and claims, “He confessed to me.” Even if you think you’re just making idle chatter, these individuals can use any personal identifying information you disclose to make their story appear more credible.
Under New Jersey law, you must have a bail hearing within 12 hours of a complaint being filed against you. That doesn’t mean 12 hours after your arrest. The police often take their time filing the complaint with the court as they continue to investigate or try to sweat you out. But if you assert your Miranda rights and actually do remain silent, they may realize they have nothing to gain by dragging their feet.
Contact an aggressive Newark criminal lawyer to protect your rights
The Anthony Pope Law Firm provides determined defense to criminal charges. Call us at 973.536.2346 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.