You may have made a mistake which led to your arrest. Don’t make more mistakes that will make your situation even worse. If you’ve been arrested you may be intoxicated and you’re almost certainly stressed out, which won’t help you think straight, but that’s exactly what you need to do after you’ve been arrested in Kentucky.
When you are arrested, the officer should advise you of your constitutional rights to remain silent, to an attorney, and to have an attorney appointed if you cannot afford one. You should take advantage of these rights, not waive them, even if the officer doesn’t actually tell you about them.
Protect yourself and your rights after a Kentucky arrest
While undergoing processing and questioning by police, be polite, respectful and professional with the officers, even if that’s not how they’re treating you. Try to be relaxed, use a measured tone and don’t swear. You’re all just getting a job done. Their job is to arrest you and get you convicted. Your job is to protect yourself and your rights.
Though the circumstances can be heated, remain cool or the officers may delay your journey through the justice system, which is not what you want. Police value being treated with respect; giving them a hard time and getting belligerent could mean they might do, or not do, little things that could delay your case and your release.
Don’t tell the officer anything but your name, address, possibly your social security number, whatever information needed for a booking form. If you have identification, show it. Refusing to tell an officer your name will just end up with your being booked as “John Doe,” which will make the process longer, resulting in your being in custody longer.
Anything else you say can (and assume it will) be used against you. Ask to see a lawyer immediately. If an officer tries to talk to or question you, repeat your request. You should talk to a lawyer before you decide to answer any questions. Again, don’t be nasty or rude.
You should be able to make a phone call within a reasonable period of time after your arrest or being booked. Officers shouldn’t listen to your conversation with your lawyer but may listen to calls made to others. You must be taken before a judge as soon as possible, generally within 48 hours of your arrest, at the latest.
Just because you’ve been arrested in Kentucky doesn’t mean you’ve lost all your rights
If you have been arrested, you still have rights. It’s actually the most important time to use those rights. You have some constitutional protections against having your person or property searched, but there are limits. Police can do a protective sweep and look for weapons, and they may do a search to stop the destruction of evidence. If you were arrested away from your home, the police can search it only with your consent or with a warrant. If you don’t want to allow a search, clearly tell the officer that.
There’s a slogan from World War II which encourages people with important information not to discuss them with family or friends because “loose lips might sink ships.” The same is true after an arrest: loose lips may sink your defense. Family members can be subpoenaed by the prosecution. If that happens, they cannot legally lie to police about what you told them.
If you have a genuine medical condition and truly need medical attention, tell the officer. If you have medication you need to take, try to have family or friends bring it to you. Don’t pretend to be ill or just claim you need medical attention in hopes of spending time away from jail. It will just needlessly extend your time in custody.
Try to get along with others after your Kentucky arrest
When dealing with other suspects who are being held with you in a cell, make friends, within reason. Share what you have (even if that’s only a seat) and be as pleasant as you can. If someone in the cell becomes violent, fellow cell mates will be able to help you much faster than an officer. Don’t be the tough guy in the cell.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make after being arrested is trying to defend yourself without an attorney. You probably don’t know criminal or constitutional law. You don’t know all your possible defenses and all the mistakes the police and the prosecution may have made. You may be offered some benefit in exchange for cooperating with an investigation or be offered a plea bargain agreement. Unless you know all the facts and laws involved, you don’t know whether what you’re being offered is truly in your best interests.
Whatever the situation, Lexington, KY, criminal defense attorney Dan Carman can help. He knows how the Kentucky criminal justice system operates and will work closely with you every step of the way. Based in Lexington, he represents clients throughout Kentucky who find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Let him work with you to plan the aggressive defense that you will need. Use the convenient online inquiry form or call 859-685-1055 for a free initial consultation.