Being placed under arrest is a frightening and often traumatic experience. Still, what you do next can dramatically affect your criminal proceedings.
It is important to know what to do ahead of time so that you can remain cool under pressure and maximize your chance of a favorable outcome.
We’ve provided a guide covering what you should do — and what you shouldn’t — once you’ve been placed under arrest.
What To Do After You’re Arrested in Colorado
When you are initially arrested, there are a number of things that will ensure your rights are protected. The arresting officer is required to recite a few of them. The others, we’ll explain below, too.
As the famous Miranda Rights state, you have the right to remain silent and refuse to answer police questions without an attorney present. Exercise this right, as anything you say can be used against you, even if their questions aren’t fair.
If the police or prosecutors offer you any kind of deal, let your attorney handle this — he or she will know whether you’re being treated fairly.
Be polite and respectful of the arresting officers, and any officers you encounter while in custody.
No good can come of anything less than your best behavior no matter the situation.
Ask for An Attorney
Contact your attorney or request an attorney, and politely decline to say anything until an attorney is present. Make sure that your attorney is present for any questioning, lineups or testing, for example collection of blood samples.
Remember Your Contacts
If possible, remember the badge numbers and patrol car numbers of any officers that you interact with. Try to get the contact information of any witnesses, as well. These details will be important later when you have time to fully recount your experience.
Gather Other Evidence
If you’re injured during the arrest or while in police custody, take pictures of the injuries as soon as possible and seek medical attention. Write everything you remember down as soon as you have a chance.
Now that you know what you should do…here’s a run-down of what you shouldn’t.
What to Avoid After Your Colorado Arrest
If you’re arrested, many actions can have unintended negative consequences. Many defendants attempt to be overly cooperative with police, and in the process, inadvertently incriminate themselves. Avoid doing any of the following in order to ensure that your rights are protected:
- Do not talk about the incident with the police, either during the arrest or after you’re in custody. Wait until an attorney is present to discuss anything.
- Do not attempt to run from the police or resist your arrest – they will most likely catch you, and you will be charged with resisting arrest. This also implies guilt and looks bad in court.
- Do not touch the officers in any way during the arrest or while in custody.
- Do not give the police permission to search anything (and if at your home, do not allow the police in your house) unless they have a warrant, in which case the search is mandatory.
- Do not believe anything that the police tell you in order to get you to talk. Police are allowed to lie to you, and will often tell you that they’ll go easy on you if you just tell the truth.
- In fact, refrain from talking about the incident with anyone while in custody — including cellmates.
If you’re placed under arrest, your actions can dramatically affect the ultimate outcome of your case. Ultimately your best bet is to remain as calm as possible, and don’t talk to anyone until your Colorado defense attorney is present.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012” and “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012 and 2013 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. She has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.