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Last Updated on: 3rd November 2023, 07:11 pm
What to Do if You Are Arrested in Florida
Being arrested can be a scary and overwhelming experience. You may feel anxious, confused about your rights, and unsure what to do next. This article will explain the key steps to take if you are arrested in Florida.
Remain Silent and Ask for a Lawyer
Clearly state you wish to invoke your right to remain silent and that you want to speak to an attorney. Then say nothing further until you have counsel.
Do Not Resist Arrest
As difficult as it feels, do not physically resist arrest even if you believe it is unjustified. This can lead to additional charges.
Your recourse is through the legal system. Comply peacefully, get legal help, and fight the charges in court.
Know Your Rights During Police Questioning
Police may legally question you without reading any rights if you are not in custody. But during formal arrest and interrogation, they must read you Miranda rights:
- Right to remain silent
- Anything you say can be used against you
- Right to an attorney during questioning
- If cannot afford an attorney, one can be appointed
Invoke these rights and say nothing more until your lawyer is present.
Try to write down or remember key details like what you were arrested for, time/date/location, officer badge numbers, and names of witnesses.
This information will help your defense attorney later.
Arrange for Bail
Within 24 hours, you will go before a judge who decides whether to set bail for release. The bail amount depends on the charges and your criminal history.
Have a family member or friend contact a bail bondsman to arrange payment of bail when set by the court.
Do Not Make Plea Decisions Without an Attorney
Prosecutors may try to get you to plead guilty before getting a lawyer. Never accept or decline a plea deal without consulting your attorney first.
A lawyer negotiates better deals and defends your rights.
Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately
The most important step is contacting an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible after arrest.
A lawyer protects your rights, works to get charges reduced or dismissed, and starts building your defense.
Request a Probable Cause Hearing
Within 21 days of arrest, your attorney can request a probable cause hearing to challenge if there was legal justification for your arrest.
If the judge agrees there was no probable cause, the case may get dismissed.
Do Not Talk to Police Without Your Lawyer
After your arrest, police may try contacting you directly to get information or a confession. Never talk to them without your attorney present.
Be polite but firm that your lawyer handles communication going forward.
Start Preparing Your Defense
Work closely with your lawyer to identify witnesses, gather evidence, build timelines, and take any other steps to refute the charges and build your case.
Thorough preparation and a proactive strategy are key to the best outcome.
Seek Counseling if Needed
The trauma of getting arrested can take an emotional toll. Seek counseling or mental health support if struggling to cope.
Focus on taking care of yourself throughout the legal process.
Understand the Charges and Potential Penalties
Research the exact charges brought against you and the potential mandatory minimum and maximum penalties you face if convicted.
This allows you to make informed decisions when weighing options like plea bargains.
Don’t Lose Hope
Getting arrested feels devastating, but it’s not the end. With an experienced criminal defense lawyer guiding you, many people beat charges and move on with life.
Stay positive and keep fighting through each step of the process.
Let me know if you have any other questions about what to do when arrested in Florida! I’m happy to help any way I can.