Ask a Hammonton Criminal Defense Attorney – What to do if You Have Been Arrested

Have you been arrested and charged with a crime in Hammonton, NJ?  You probably have a number of questions and concerns regarding your arrest and the charges against you.  On this page, I will try and address many of the concerns that someone who has been arrested in Hammonton would have.

First, it is highly advisable that you contact and attorney the first possible moment after you have been arrested or find out that you are the target of a criminal investigation.  It is also advisable that you not cooperate with a request by a law enforcement agency to surrender, offer a statement, or cooperate without first consulting an attorney.

If you have already been arrested and processed, contact us as soon as possible to explore the best criminal defense options available to you.  There are procedural advantages to involving an experienced criminal defense attorney as early in the process as possible.  Often, the police will want to interrogate or have an individual who has been charged with a crime testify in front of a grand jury.  You are not obligated to do either without consulting an attorney first.  Know your rights.

One of the worst things you can do is to put off contacting an attorney until you are close to your hearing or court date.  Not confronting the charges against you does not make them go away.   It is in your best interest to contact an attorney and give them as much time as possible to mount the best defense.

What should you do if you have been arrested?

As we mentioned above, it can be a nerve-wracking and stressful time immediately following an arrest.  The first thing following being released it to remain calm and try and think clearly.Weigh your options and consult an attorney.

There are also some things to keep in mind following an arrest to help protect your rights and to help ensure that you will receive the best defense against your charges.

  • Remain silent – the police officer should have read you your miranda rights – use them.  You do not have to give any statements, answer any questions, or respond to any prompts for information.   Everything you are saying will be on record.
  • Be polite and cooperate physically.  Be respectful of the police officers arresting you.  You should not resist or try and escape from being arrested.
  • Stay clam and try to remember the names and badge numbers of the law enforcement officials that are involved in the arrest.
  • At the first opportunity, ask to contact an attorney and don’t say anything to the law enforcement officials until your attorney arrives and can counsel you on what your rights are.
  • Make sure that an attorney is present prior to participating in any lineups, statements, lie detector tests, or blood samples.
  • Make sure that an attorney is present for any interrogation or question regarding your arrest.
  • Once your attorney is present, let them handle correspondence with the police, DA, or any prosecutors, depending on the municipality that you have been arrested in.
  • If you have been injured during the process of being arrested, be sure to get medical attention and that your attorney is made aware of these injuries and documents and photographs the injuries.
  • If you have been injured, have your attorney try and track locate and contact any witnesses to the arrest.

What should you NOT do if you are arrested

If have been arrested, there are things that you should try not to do as they may have a negative effect on your defense and/or result in additional charges against you.

It is advisable that you:

  • Not say anything regarding your arrest to the arresting police officers.  In fact, it is advisable that you not discuss your case or the details of what led up to an arrest with anyone except for your attorney.
  • Not be disrespectful to the arresting police officers.  Remain calm and compliant until you can call your attorney.
  • Not attempt to flee or fight to avoid being arrested.  This can hurt the defense of your case and result in additional charges against you.
  • Do not give the arresting police officers permission to search anything without your attorney present.  If the police officers ask to search your persons, car, or residence, request that you speak to your attorney.
  • Do not resist arrest or fight back physically against the arresting officers.  This can also result in additional charges.
  • Do not let the officers into your home unless they have a search warrant and present it to you.  Do not go outside, as it may be possible for them to arrest you outside your home.
  • If the officers arrest you outside of your home, do not allow them to go inside your home to get any personal effects or talk to anyone, i.e. your spouse.  If you allow the officers to go into your house by your own accord, they may be able to search the premises.  The same situation applies to your car.  Always ask that your attorney be present and call the Law Offices of Joseph Lombardo at (609) 445-4300.

If You’ve Been Arrested, Do You Need a Lawyer?

It is highly advisable that you consult and retain an attorney as quickly as possible. A qualified criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and take steps to provide the best possible defense for you in court.  A criminal defense attorney can work to lower or dismiss the charges against you.   The Law Offices of Joseph Lombardo have been representing individuals arrested and charged with crimes across South Jersey since 1993.  If you have been arrested, contact us today so that we can start building the best possible defense immediately.

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