The arrest and booking processes can be overwhelming for defendants, even for those who have been arrested on prior occasions. Regardless of whether you committed the offense or not, you will need to take the same steps to protect your legal rights and preserve your freedom. As soon as possible, identify a reputable law firm in Annapolis that handles drug charges and other criminal cases. Contact the criminal lawyer and notify him or her that you have been arrested and you require legal representation.
Remaining Silent and Calm
One of your most basic legal rights is the right to avoid self-incrimination by remaining silent when police officers ask you questions. You should exercise this right immediately. Many defendants make the mistake of answering questions initially because the questions seem harmless. In fact, any information you provide could be used against you in ways that you might not anticipate. Additionally, the officer may later ask you a question that you definitely do not wish to answer. Invoking your right to remain silent at that point after having answered previous questions may appear suspicious to the officer. Similarly, you shouldn’t give the officer an excuse to add additional charges. Keep your body language non-threatening and your demeanor calm.
Cooperating to a Certain Extent
When you are brought to the precinct for booking, you will be asked for basic information such as your full name and address. You should answer these types of “pedigree” questions honestly, although you should still continue to remain silent when asked questions about the alleged incident or other issues. At this time, you will also have your photograph and fingerprints taken. You will need to surrender personal property, for which you will receive a voucher. Go through these requirements in a calm, cooperative manner to prevent additional problems.
Calling a Criminal Defense Attorney
Exercise your right to call a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. When you meet with your lawyer, you should remember that anything you tell him is strictly confidential. Full disclosure and complete honesty are essential; otherwise, your lawyer may experience problems when developing your legal defense strategies.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information about the topics discussed and does not qualify as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws applicable to each case may differ. If you have a legal matter, you should speak to an attorney to get advice on your particular situation.