If you have been arrested, you likely have many emotions flowing through you. You may feel scared, anxious, angry, worried and perhaps even confused about what your next step should be.
Our firm of criminal defense lawyers in Delaware has advised many clients after an arrest. Follow these tips to calm yourself, reassure your family and help you get through this troubling period.
Understand Your Rights
During arrest, a police officer will read you your rights. Keep them in mind as you proceed to booking and in the days after your arrest. Remember that you always have the right to an attorney and the right to remain silent. Those two things can ensure you protect yourself during what could be a long process.
Be Ready for an Arraignment
Within a day or two of your arrest, you will face arraignment. This is essentially a formal reading of the charges against you in which the judge advises you of your right to a trial by jury or by a single judge. You must enter a plea. If you plead guilty, you cede your right to a trial and your right to remain silent.
You may also enter a plea of not guilty, in which case you will proceed to a trial, or nolo contendere. If you plead the latter, you are saying you will not contest the plea, but no one can use the evidence in your case in a civil suit.
Consider Your Options
You may be able to enter into a plea bargain with the prosecution, or you may face a jury trial. Whatever you decide, you should understand the consequences of each decision and how they could play out. The best way to do that is to talk to a lawyer.
Speak With a Criminal Lawyer in Delaware
Speaking with a lawyer should be the very first thing you do after an arrest. Getting an experienced, professional opinion on your case can help steer you in the right direction. Call now.