Everyday our firm gets calls from individuals who were recently arrested. In many cases, the person calling our office was arrested a mere few hours prior to the call. Anxiety, uncertainty, and worry are common examples of the emotions that are running through these callers. If you have recently been arrested, here are a few things you should NOT do.
1. Do Not Google Information About Your Charges.
The internet has an abundance of misinformation on all subjects — including law. In many cases, when individuals are looking up information pertaining to what they were arrested for, they will land upon forums and discussion boards where "keyboard lawyers" share misinformation that will not benefit the arrested person. In fact, it actually works as a detriment. People have often called our firm and were worried they were going to jail for multiple years for minor offenses because "they saw online that the charges carry long periods of jail time." While your case may be a serious one, always listen to an experienced criminal defense attorney for advice and do not rely on an online forum. All cases are unique and no website article, message board, or forum knows the particulars of your case.
2. Do Not Hire an Attorney Immediately.
While we are not saying you shouldn't hire counsel at all, what we are saying is that you should take some time to process what has just happened. Immediately being released from police custody, especially for the first time, can be a very anxious and emotional draining experience. The first inclination many people have is to say to themselves, "I NEED TO HIRE A LAWYER IMMEDIATELY,” but you would be well-advised to not let your emotions get the best of you and should wait to hire an attorney. The reason for this is that not all attorneys are equal and if you hire the first attorney you speak with, he/she may not be the best suited for your particular case. Also, it is important to seek various legal opinions regarding your case in order to get a better understanding of your situation and what you can anticipate down the line. Remember, most lawyers offer free consultations and many are more than happy to take the time out of their day to advise you without any conditions attached.
3. Do Not Tell Everyone You Know that You Got Arrested.
Another common mistake people make after just being arrested is telling all their friends and family members what had just transpired. This can be related to the anxiety you may be feeling and the need to speak with someone regarding your arrest. While it is perfectly fine to reach out to someone you trust and can confide in, be careful who you speak to about your case. Remember, in many situations, your charges have the potential to be dismissed or have a ruling in your favor at trial and therefore there is no reason to make a temporary issue a permanent memory in the minds of those you know.
4. Do Not Panic.
While this may be the most difficult thing to do, it is important to remember that your situation is most likely not as bad as you may think it is. All things are fixed in time and while you may think your life has just ended because you were arrested; however, just know that there are dedicated lawyers who are willing and able to help you achieve an outcome that you did not think was possible. Worrying does not help the case, but thinking practically and sensibly will go a long way in restoring your life to normalcy.
Who Should I Contact First Regarding My Case?
At The Town Law, we understand just how stressful facing criminal charges can be. With our vast experience handling criminal cases throughout Bucks County, Delaware County, Chester County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County in Pennsylvania, we are well-equipped to ensure you get the best result possible with attentive attorneys by your side throughout the process. Contact our firm today for a free consultation. Our staff of experienced attorneys is dedicated to the best outcomes for all of our clients.