In: Criminal Defense

First Steps to Take After an Arrest

When you are arrested and charged with a crime in Texas, your immediate reaction may be panic, followed by a settling sense of fear and stress about what will happen next. These emotions are normal; being arrested and facing criminal charges is a very upsetting experience.

However, knowing what steps to take next and what your rights are can both provide you with a sense of comfort after an arrest, and help to protect your best interests. Here are some first steps to take after an arrest, including information about when to make your first phone call, when to call an attorney, when you have to enter a plea (plead guilty or not guilty), and more.

1. Call an Attorney at the First Opportunity

When you are initially arrested, remember that you have the right to remain silent, and you should exercise that right. You should also immediately express that you want to exercise your right to be represented by an attorney. Then, you should call an attorney at the first possible chance that you get, and you should absolutely consult with an attorney before entering a plea of guilty, not guilty or, no contest.

2. Going Before a Judge for the First Time – What You Should Know

After you have been arrested, you will see a judge within 48 hours. At this time, the judge will make sure that you understand your rights. If you have not already met with an attorney at this point, keep in mind that the judge over your case is required under law to provide you with a reasonable amount of time to consult with an attorney.

3. Enter a Plea During an Arraignment

After an arrest, one of the first things that you will do is enter a plea, which will occur during your arraignment hearing. You should discuss all of your options with your attorney before entering the plea, and then you should follow your lawyer’s advice.

4. Lay Low

If you are arrested on bail, you should make a conscious effort to refrain from doing anything that could further jeopardize your future or hurt your criminal case. For example, you want to be careful about with whom you associate and your behaviors. Or you may want to think abuot what you post on facebook or other social media platforms. You don’t want to post a picture of you drinking or partying if you were recently arrested for a DWI or other alcohol or drug offense. Prosecutors can access your social media accounts.

5. Build Your Case

If you have entered a plea of not guilty, you will have the opportunity to defend yourself against criminal charges, which can be very difficult today and certainly requires the guidance of a legal professional. You should be 100 percent honest with your attorney about your situation and the crime with which you have been charged. Remember that your attorney is responsible for protecting you, and will keep whatever you tell them confidential. If your attorney does not know the full story, however, they will be limited in how much help they can provide.

Call Our Law Offices Today

At the offices of Brent D. Bowen, Attorney at Law, our experienced Denton, Texas criminal defense lawyer is here to advocate for you. If you have been charged with a crime, call our law office today to learn more about the first steps to take after an arrest and how our law firm can help.