No one wants to get arrested, and many people think they won’t ever get arrested. However, it’s impossible to predict if you will get arrested, even if you are innocent. Sometimes people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
According to the Utah Department of Public Safety, there were over 75,000 adult arrests and 8,000 juvenile arrests in Utah during 2020. You can think of that as more than 80,000 reasons to know what to do in case you get arrested. So here are five things you should do if you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of getting arrested in Utah.
The last thing you want to do when you are arrested is make things worse. Resisting arrest or physically fighting with the officer, even if you are innocent, can add more charges. It’s in your best interest to fight your charges in court with the support of an experienced defense attorney. Always be polite and courteous with an officer.
Anyone who is arrested has the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney (Miranda rights). You may feel that explaining yourself or offering details about what happened will make the arresting officer have a change of heart and let you go. However, anything you say could be turned around on you and used to convict you later in court. The only things you should say when you are arrested are that you would like to speak to a lawyer and basic identifying information about yourself, including your name and birthdate. Failure to identify yourself is class B misdemeanor in Utah.
When you are arrested, you will have the chance to call someone for help. If you talk to a family member or friend, you should always assume you are being recorded. Don’t share any details about your actions. You can say the basic things they need to know to help you make bail or find a lawyer. Additionally, if you talk to other inmates about your case, it’s possible they may try to share those details with law enforcement in an effort to get a better deal for themselves. The only time you can speak freely is on a call or in person with your lawyer. Calls with a lawyer are confidential and can’t be recorded.
You may be asked to sign a statement about what happened in your case as part of police processing. This is one way law enforcement can try to get you to reveal information about your case. Wait until you have a lawyer present before signing this document.
It is your right to have a lawyer’s help, even if you can’t afford it. Take advantage of your right, and be clear with law enforcement that you want your lawyer. They may try to get you to talk by making you wait, scaring you with potential charges, or even being nice and understanding of your situation. It’s impossible to tell whether an officer is being genuine or trying to get you to share information before your lawyer shows up. Always wait for your lawyer before you do or say anything.
The expert defense team at Brown, Bradshaw & Moffat has decades of experience helping people who have been arrested for crimes in Utah. We can help you fight your charges and get a fair trial. Give us a call today at (801) 532-5297 for a free consultation.
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