What to do if you get arrested
The first few days after you are arrested can be a very confusing time. You’re dealing with lawyers, judges, and maybe even staff at a jail. You may not understand what’s happening, or why you’re going to certain places. This will help you with some of the more common questions.
What should I do if/when I get arrested?
Go with the police; do not fight them or run away. You have a right to talk to a lawyer and you can talk to the lawyer in private. Tell the authorities that you want to call a lawyer. They are required to help you call a lawyer who can tell you if you should talk to the police and can help you get released from custody.
You do not have to talk to the police at all, except to tell them your name. You do not have to answer their questions or give any statements. Remember, anything you say can be used in court against you, so it’s important to talk to a lawyer before you talk to the police.
If you need an interpreter, tell the police right away. Make sure your lawyer knows, too.
When can the police arrest me?
The police can arrest you if they have a legal form called an “arrest warrant”. If a judge has signed this form, the police can arrest you by showing it to you or telling you about it. They need to tell you why they are arresting you and make sure that you understand them. They can touch you, but not hurt you.
What if I am younger than 18?
It is a good idea to call your parents and have them come to the police station or jail. You have the right to call both a lawyer and your parents; you do not have to choose between them. If the lawyer tells you that you should talk to the police, your parents can be there while you talk to them. If you don’t want to call your parents, the police or your lawyer can call them for you.
How do I get an interpreter?
Tell the police right away that you speak another language and need an interpreter. You should also tell your court worker and your lawyer. The courts will hire someone who speaks your language to interpret for you in court.
Can the police keep me in custody?
Yes, in certain situations.
In many situations the police will charge you and then release you on a “promise to appear” which may have certain conditions for you to follow. If you do not follow those conditions the police can arrest you again.
If the police do not agree to release you, they have to arrange for a court appearance before a judge as soon as possible.
The police released me, but they said I still have to go to court.
What does that mean?
If the police give you papers that say you have to go to court at a certain time, you have to go. If you don’t go to court at that time, you can be charged with a crime called “failure to appear”, and you can be arrested and put in jail until your trial.
The police are not going to release me. What happens next?
If the police are not prepared to release you they must take you before a justice (a JP or a Judge) within a certain time period. The judge will hear from the police or the prosecutor and your lawyer and decide whether you can be released and whether there will be conditions on your release. At your hearing, the judge may hear evidence about whether releasing you may not be a good idea. For example, if you have hurt someone, and that person may not be safe if you are released in the next few days, the judge will think about that.
If you hire a lawyer they will be able to assist you in court for this hearing. Your lawyer or court worker will give you advice about what to do in court.
If the judge agrees to release you, there will be “conditions” set. This means that you have to do certain things to be allowed out of jail. For example, you may have to agree to stay away from a certain person, you may have to live in a certain place or you may have to pay money or bail to the court. Listen carefully when the judge discusses these conditions. The conditions will be written on a form called an “undertaking” or “recognizance”. The Clerk of the Court will go over this with you and explain to you what it means. If you don’t understand, ask your lawyer or the Clerk. Once you are sure you understand, the Clerk will ask you to sign the form.
The Judge did not release me. The judge may say that you have to stay in custody. If that happens, the police will usually bring you to one of the Maricopa correctional facilities:
• For adult men/women: 4th Ave Jail (Downtown Phoenix)
• For boys/girls ages 12-17: Durango or Mesa (Juvenile Detention Centers)
The social worker came to my house when I was arrested, and my kids were put in care. What do I do?
Your kids are in a safe place. Call Child Protective Services right away and tell them what happened. They will be able to help you. Remember, your kids’ safety is the top priority. They may be able to stay with a family member if your house is not a safe place for them right now. The social worker may decide to place your children right away with another parent or relative. If they do not, you will soon receive papers letting you know about a court application to confirm the apprehension of your children. You should contact legal aid right away and ask for assistance with the court application and with the ongoing child protection matters.
I have a medical condition. Who needs to know about it?
Tell the authorities what you need. If you need pills or medical supplies, they can help you to get what you need from your house. Your court worker, lawyer and probation officer usually won’t need to know about your medical condition, but you can tell them if you think it’s important. If your medical condition is relevant to the things you’ve been charged with, be sure to tell your lawyer. If you have to go to jail, make sure you tell a staff member about your medical condition as soon as you are admitted.
Things you need to think about – RIGHT AWAY!
You can arrange to get any urgent medical treatment you need and your lawyer can give you advice about the best way to take care of yourself. If your situation isn’t urgent and you will not be in jail long, treatment will usually be scheduled for after your release.
What do I tell my boss?
If you can’t get to work because you are in jail, make sure your boss knows you won’t be at work. Tell him or her what happened, and ask if you can talk about it in a few days when you know more about what is going on.
I’m under 18. Do I have to tell my school what happened?
No, but it’s a good idea to have your parents let the school know that you will be away for a few days. If the judge sends you to one of the Maricopa County jails for young people, you can keep up with your schoolwork with the teacher there.
If you want the best possible outcome for your case – Contact The Brubaker Law Office 602-753-7LAW (7529) or http://www.brubakerlegal.com/ our team of professionals can help!