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What to Do if You Are Arrested in Brooklyn – Your Rights and Next Steps

What to Do if You Are Arrested in Brooklyn – Your Rights and Next Steps

Getting arrested can be a scary and overwhelming experience. But it’s important to stay calm and know your rights. This article will walk you through what to expect if you are arrested in Brooklyn, and provide tips on how to handle the situation.

Before the Arrest

First and foremost, avoid doing anything illegal that could get you arrested! But if you do find yourself in a confrontation with police, here are some tips:

  • Stay calm and be polite. Don’t argue or resist, even if you believe you did nothing wrong. That will only make things worse.
  • Don’t make sudden movements or reach for anything without asking first. That can be seen as threatening behavior.
  • If police want to search you or your belongings, you can politely say you do not consent to a search. But if they say they are going to search anyway, do not physically resist.
  • Do not lie or give false information. Be honest and comply with orders. Lying will likely just land you in more trouble.
  • Ask if you are free to leave. If so, calmly walk away. If not, you are being detained and should follow orders.
  • Do not resist arrest, even if you believe the arrest is unfair. Fighting back will only result in additional charges.

During the Arrest

If you are being arrested:

  • Ask why you are being arrested and what the charges are. But don’t argue about it.
  • Do not make any statements about the incident leading to your arrest. Anything you say can be used against you.
  • If police question you, politely decline to answer and say you want to speak to a lawyer first. Then stop talking.
  • If asked, provide your name, address, and other basic info. But don’t volunteer additional information.
  • Follow all orders given by the officers, even if you disagree with them. Resisting will make it worse.
  • Do not attempt to flee or escape once you are being arrested. That can lead to additional charges.
  • If you are injured during the arrest, request medical attention immediately.
  • If you witness police misconduct during the arrest, make a mental note of it to report later.

The arresting officers will handcuff you and transport you to the nearest police station for booking. This involves taking your fingerprints and photos. You will also be searched thoroughly.Try to stay calm during this process, even though it can be degrading. Getting angry or resisting will not help.

At the Police Station

Once at the station, you will be held until arraignment. This is when you are formally charged and have the charges read to you by a judge. Arraignments happen within 24 hours of arrest.While waiting:

  • You have the right to remain silent. Do not talk about your case with anyone.
  • If questioned, politely decline and re-state your right to have an attorney present first.
  • You have the right to make a phone call. Call a friend, relative or attorney to inform them of the arrest.
  • You do not have to sign any statements or answer questions without a lawyer present. Refuse politely.
  • If you don’t have an attorney yet, one will be appointed to you for the arraignment. Do not make any statements until you meet with them.
  • Be patient and comply with officer orders. Follow jail rules and don’t cause disturbances.
  • Get some rest if you can. Eat if you are provided food. Ask for water if needed.
  • Document the names/badge numbers of all officers you interact with. Write down what you remember of the arrest.
  • If you have medical needs or medications, inform an officer immediately. Ask them to contact your emergency contacts if needed.

Waiting in a cell can be tedious and scary. But stay calm and remember that this is temporary. The arraignment will happen soon and your attorney can request bail/release.

The Arraignment

The arraignment hearing has a few purposes:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
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Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • You are formally read the charges against you and notified of your rights.
  • The judge decides whether to set bail or release you without bail.
  • If released, the conditions of release are set (e.g. having to check in with pretrial services).
  • You can enter a plea (guilty, not guilty, no contest). But most people plead not guilty at this stage.
  • The next court date is scheduled.

Listen carefully as the charges are read. Confer with your attorney beforehand about entering a plea. Answer the judge’s questions clearly.If you are released:

  • You will have to sign paperwork agreeing to show up at future court dates.
  • Follow all conditions the judge sets for your release. This can include drug testing, ankle monitor, etc.
  • Do not miss any court dates or violate any conditions, or you may have your release revoked.
  • Go immediately to the court clerk’s office to pay any bail fees and get upcoming court dates.
  • Verify with your attorney the next steps in fighting your charges. Follow their advice closely in the coming days.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are some key things you should NOT do if arrested:

  • Do not resist arrest or try to escape custody. That will result in additional charges. Follow all orders.
  • Do not make any statements about the incident without your lawyer present. Even denying guilt can hurt you.
  • Do not agree to answer questions or sign documents without reading them first. Be polite yet firm in declining.
  • Do not lie or give false info during booking. That will land you in more legal trouble.
  • Do not cause problems while in custody. Follow rules and avoid confrontations.
  • Do not discuss your case with other inmates. Assume they will use it against you.
  • Do not miss court dates or violate release conditions. That can get bail revoked and lead to re-arrest.
  • Do not try to contact victims or witnesses in your case if ordered not to. That can also get bail revoked.

Making any of these mistakes can seriously harm your case. It’s best to comply with police, remain silent, and let your attorney handle everything.

Finding a Lawyer

If you don’t already have a criminal defense lawyer, you’ll need to hire one as soon as possible after being arrested. A lawyer can:

  • Advise you on whether to answer questions or accept a plea deal.
  • Represent you at arraignment and argue for your release.
  • Investigate the circumstances around your arrest.
  • File motions to get evidence suppressed or charges dismissed.
  • Negotiate with the prosecutor for reduced charges or alternate sentencing.
  • Defend you at trial if the charges are not dropped.

Be sure to hire an experienced criminal lawyer, not a general practice attorney. Criminal law is very complex. The outcome of your case likely hinges on your legal representation.Some options for finding a lawyer include:

  • Search online for highly-rated criminal defense attorneys in Brooklyn. Look for ones with experience handling your charges.
  • If low income, contact the Brooklyn Defenders or Legal Aid Society for possible free representation.
  • Ask friends and family for referrals to criminal lawyers they recommend.
  • Contact the Brooklyn Bar Association lawyer referral service at (718) 624-0675.
  • If bailed out, visit lawyer offices in Brooklyn to interview potential hires in person.
  • Hire as soon as possible. The earlier in the process, the better for your defense.

Be wary of lawyers making outrageous claims or guarantees. No one can promise you the charges will be dismissed or that you won’t serve jail time.

Next Steps After Release

If you are released after arraignment, either on your own recognizance or after posting bail, here are some next steps:

  • Meet with your attorney as soon as possible to discuss the case. Be honest and forthcoming so they can best defend you.
  • Request a copy of the charges, police reports, and any other case documents from your lawyer. Review them closely.
  • Follow your release conditions very closely. Missing court or violating conditions could lead to re-arrest and revocation of release.
  • If ordered to undergo drug/alcohol testing or monitoring, be sure to comply. Missing tests could violate your release.
  • Begin gathering evidence or identifying witnesses that could help your case. Inform your lawyer.
  • If employed, notify your employer of the situation. But do not discuss details or admit guilt.
  • Avoid actions that could violate orders of protection. Do not contact alleged victims or witnesses without your lawyer’s consent.
  • Continue checking in with your lawyer regularly as your case progresses. Be actively involved in your defense.
  • Ask your lawyer what plea deals the prosecution may offer and weigh your options carefully.
  • Make sure you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case. That will allow you to make informed choices.
  • Be prepared that fighting the charges could take many months, or even years. Stay patient and follow your lawyer’s advice.
  • If convicted, cooperate fully with probation officers and court orders. Missing deadlines or requirements could lead to jail time.

Dealing with criminal charges is a lengthy process with high stakes. Having an experienced lawyer guide you through it can make all the difference.

Conclusion

Being arrested can be scary, but knowing your rights is empowering. Stay calm, remain silent without a lawyer, and comply with police directions. At the station, politely refuse to answer questions or sign anything. Hire a criminal defense lawyer immediately and follow their advice closely. If released, obey all court orders precisely. With smart decisions and proper legal help, you can achieve the best possible outcome. Just stay strong!

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