What to do after you are arrested
Many attorney websites and blogs will give you information concerning what you should do if you are contacted or questioned by police, or when you are being arrested. Unfortunately, most people don’t go to an attorney’s website until after they have been arrested. So, the information is not useful and can’t get you out of what has already occurred.
What you should know is that your arrest is just the beginning of the potentially long and difficult process that was started by the arrest.
The first thing you should immediately do after arrest, is contact a reputable and aggressive attorney who will listen to your concerns and be willing to handle the case as you would handle it, if you had the training and experience that attorney should have.
There are several ways to find a good attorney who will be willing to defend you. If you know someone who has previously had a good experience (results!) with an attorney in a criminal case, get that attorney’s name and contact information. Call and make an appointment to see that attorney at the earliest possible time.
You can search for an attorney on the internet (as you have here) or in the telephone book. You should be careful to read all the fine print concerning that attorney to be sure that it is an attorney who is experienced in criminal defense (just because they say they are a former prosecutor or cop, doesn’t mean that they understand how to defend you), and one who has a solid, reputable education from a recognized law school.
You will also receive several letters from attorneys at the residence address you gave to the police at the time of your arrest and booking. Most of these letters will be from offices that are out-of-area, defense “mills”, where you may never see the actual attorney whose name is on the letter or ever have contact with anyone who wants to really help you. Be careful that you choose an attorney who is sincere in his or her approach to you in this critical time, and who is experienced in the local geographic area of your arrest (for example. many attorneys who may send you a letter from outside of the Coachella Valley rarely appear in court in Indio.)
After you have decided on an attorney to speak to, make that call to set up an appointment in their office. This first consultation is usually at no cost to you. There are several good attorneys out there who will speak to you by phone or in their office for free.
Bring whatever paperwork you have concerning the case (citation, bail papers, jail receipts, and your written account of what happened) to the appointment and be prepared to tell the attorney everything you know about the case. Your discussion with the attorney is confidential, whether you end up hiring that attorney, or not. It is never helpful to withhold information that may help the attorney to assess the case and give you an opinion as to his or her analysis of your case.
Be prepared to pay a reasonable fee for a good attorney. You should be paying not only for quality representation, but the ability to be able to call and speak to the actual attorney when you need to get questions answered.
The two (2) main reasons you want to contact an attorney without delay are that you want to have someone on your side who will contact the DA’s office right away to try to influence the complaint-filing process, and so that YOU start feeling better knowing that you now have a defender, after the traumatic arrest you have just suffered!