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What You Should Do After an Arrest in California

Getting arrested can be a frustrating and overwhelming situation. Any negative behavior and actions can severely affect the outcome of your case. It is imperative to understand and take the right steps to ensure that you avoid criminal conviction.

The following are important steps you must take to ensure a favorable outcome in court:

  • Find a qualified criminal defense lawyer. Immediately after your arrest, you should speak with an attorney. You have a legal right to contact a lawyer if you are taken into custody.
  • Only speak with your attorney. Upon arrest, it may seem natural to provide details of your arrest to your peers. However, the people you speak with can be used as witnesses against you. Only discuss the situation leading to arrest to only your criminal defense attorney.
  • Maintain a low profile until your court appearance. After you have been released, it is important to behave while you are awaiting your appearance in court. Do not break any laws or involve yourself in situations which could jeopardize the outcome of the current charges you are facing.
  • Dress appropriately and behave in the courtroom. First impressions are always important, especially when it comes to appearing in court. Dress as if you were going to a wedding or a religious service. Avoid wearing tank-tops, sandals, or short skirts. Cover all visible tattoos and markings.
  • Don't settle for a plea deal from prosecutors. Prosecutors may offer a tempting plea deal, to allow you to plead to a lesser charge and avoid trial. However, you have to make sure that the circumstances are right for a plea deal, and only a Ventura criminal defense lawyer can help you weigh the pros and cons of the matter.

Private Attorney vs. Public Defender

While there are many public defenders who are skilled and reliable lawyers, the truth is that they are employed by the government and have an overload of cases to review. A public defender won't take the time to thoroughly go over your case and determine all of your available legal options.

With a private criminal defense lawyer, you have someone on your side who can protect your rights, reputation, and freedom. In addition, your attorney can consult with you whenever you please, as opposed to the schedule limits associated with public defenders.