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What To Do If You Are Arrested

If you are arrested, the first thing you must do is clearly state that you want a lawyer. Do not be ambivalent by saying, “I think I need a lawyer” or by asking, “Do I need a lawyer”. Be very clear and state, “I WANT A LAWYER”. Then say nothing else, period.

By law, the police cannot talk with you any further. Even if the police continue to talk with you, say nothing until your lawyer appears. If you initiate the conversation, it can be argued that you waived your right to counsel despite previously requesting a lawyer to be present.

Once arrested and charged in a State case, a bail amount and an arraignment date are usually set. The arraignment, where the accused pleads either guilty or not guilty, could be days or even weeks away. After pleading not guilty at the arraignment, the defense is given a deadline to file pretrial motions, usually 15 days. In serious matters, it is not uncommon to have several motion hearing dates before trial.

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