In the US, the number of criminal cases reported each year is alarming. In 2019, the total number of violent crime cases reported was 1,203,808, and that of property crime was 6.92 million. While that may be just a statistic to some people, you will have a different view if you find yourself on the wrong side of the law. Following an arrest, you might find yourself locked up in jail with no idea what to do next. Rather than wait for the eventuality and wallow in stress, disbelief, or fear in an uncomfortable cell, read on to find out what you can do in case you’re charged with a crime.
The right to remain silent is among the crucial of your top Miranda rights. It’s worth noting that a law enforcement officer cannot punish you for refraining from answering their questions. All you have to do is tell the arresting officer that you wish to exercise silence. However, if the police or law enforcement officer asks for your identification, you ought to provide your name per the law’s provisions. You should only speak to your attorney and not even friends or family regarding your case since your conversation with the latter may land you in hot soup.
While it may sound a cliché, you have the right to an attorney just as you have the right to remain silent. The rights to remain silent and that of an attorney go hand in hand. Immediately after an arrest, ask for an attorney and protect your right to silence since an officer of the law shouldn’t question you once you request an attorney. And if you can’t afford one, you have the right to a free lawyer. The good thing about the attorney-client privilege is that your calls will be private, so feel free to speak during the call. Above anything else, do not sign anything or make any decision without consulting with an attorney.
Another critical tool you can use when accused of a crime is bail bonds. They are agreements set by courts for criminal defendants to pay a sum of money or appear before trial. These surety bonds allow defendants to be released on bond, and it would be wise not to violate the terms of your bond to avoid landing back in jail.
Whenever you are accused of a crime or find yourself in jail, the top thing to remember is to refrain from talking and exercise your right to silence. That will go a long way in saving you from the tricks that law enforcers use to pin you down for a crime. Regardless of the happenings, an arrest is likely to change your life course. That’s why it’s wise to know your rights to protect yourself from making an already bad situation worse.
Author information: Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her husky, Snowball.