I was arrested here in Dallas/Fort Worth and I am innocent; what should I do?
First, call an attorney. Preferable you call us. If you have been charged with a crime, been arrested, or are being questioned as a possible suspect in a crime you should consult an attorney and not talk to anyone without your attorney. You should consult an attorney as soon as possible even if you are innocent in order to better your chances of a positive outcome.
Hiring an attorney earlier will increase the chances that your attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor that there is not enough evidence to file charges or maybe help increase the chances of negotiating in order to reduce the charges before its too late. You may choose to represent yourself or choose to use court appointed counsel. Self-representation is not recommended since it is risky and rarely successful.
Using the public defender would be a better choice than self-representation but the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics has shown that a higher percentage of defendants with public defenders have been convicted than those that used hired counsel. Not hiring an attorney may save you money in the short run but you should always think about the long term consequences. An attorney is more familiar with the justice system and its inner workings and will be able to use his knowledge and experience to better represent you in court. Your freedom and innocence are very important and you should hire an attorney if you find yourself in legal problems regardless of being innocent because sometimes the justice system fails resulting in the incarceration of innocent people.
Do I have to talk to the police or detective once I am arrested?
Not without your lawyer. Ask for a lawyer. You must be informed of your Miranda rights if you are in custody and the police are going to try to obtain any type of incriminating evidence from you. If you are both in custody and going to be interrogated the state must inform you that you have the right to remain silent, that what you say may be used against you, that you have the right to an attorney and that if you cannot afford an attorney one may be provided to you.
You must make it clear that you want to invoke the right to remain silent and/or the right to an attorney. You have to say “I want my attorney.” Failing to clearly invoke your right to remain silent or right to counsel can be very bad for you because law enforcement is not required to attempt to clarify if you are invoking your rights or not. If you invoke your right to remain silent the police must stop the interrogation but may re-initiate the interrogation after a break. However, if you invoke your right to an attorney only you may re-initiate the interrogation until your attorney is present.
What’s the process once I’m arrested in Texas?
You may be arrested by a warrant or if law enforcement has probable cause that you have committed a crime. Once you are arrested you must be told your Miranda rights. Your Miranda rights are that you have the right to remain silent, what you say may be used against you, you have the right to an attorney and that if you cannot afford an attorney one may be provided to you.
Once you are arrested and taken into custody you will be booked into a facility. Booking involves confiscating and inventorying your personal effects, obtaining your personal information, searching you which may involve a strip search, photographing and fingerprinting. There will be a phone available for you to call out.
Being arrested is a scary process and usually the jail facility is not very friendly. If you are your loved one just got arrested tell them to keep their head down and to not talk to anyone about his or her case. Contact Our Law Firm in Arlington as soon as possible so we can help get you or your loved one released.