First, donâ€™t panic. I know this is far easier to say than do but it is very important that you try and stay calm, cool, and collected. As a result of being detained or arrested you will be asked by the police many important questions or told of the procedures surrounding your arrests. If you are not paying close attention and staying focused you will not understand what is happening which will make the process worse, more frightening, and longer, and may actually hurt your case. Remember, although you have been arrested, it does not mean you are guilty of committing a crime. The Officer has opined that you have broken the law, but it is not a fact or a truth at this point. Rather, it is just this one LEOâ€™s opinion. I strongly advise my clientâ€™s to NOT talk to the police or answer their questions (other than their name, SS#, and DOB) without me being present. I know the natural urge is to cooperate with the LEO in the hope they will let you go. However, in my experience, the small chance of being released is far outweighed by the harm you do to your case by talking to the LEO. The LEOâ€™s job is to investigate suspected criminal activity and make arrests if they feel they have probable cause. Do not help them obtain damaging evidence against you by volunteering information by talking. Some damaging examples are â€œI am not drunk, I just had 4 beersâ€ or â€œI couldnâ€™t do these exercises if I was soberâ€ or â€œyes I knew he had marijuana on him but it was his not mineâ€, etc., etc.
Next, do not tell the officer what you do for a living or who your employer is. If you provide this information it will be publicly displayed on the HCSO public access website for all to see. Local media outlets scour the arrest reports multiple times a day to see who has been arrested and if it is newsworthy. If they deem you or your arrest is newsworthy, they may print it in the local newspaper or on-line. Additionally, some LEOâ€™s call or notify certain employers if an employee is arrested (School Board, Military, etc.)
If arrested, you will be brought to the jail where you will be told what the bond amount is that you or a family member must to pay for you to be released. As an example, a DUI offense in Hillsborough County is typically a $500 bond. In contrast a Felony Grand Theft charge (theft of over $300) is a $2,000 bond amount. TO bond out, you can either pay the entire cash amount and be released from the jail or you or your friends or family can hire a bondsman. Customarily, a bondsman is paid 10% of the bond amount as their fee to get you out of jail. You never get that money back. The Bondsman may then require collateral (like title to house or car) for the remainder bond amount. However many bondsmanâ€™s no longer require collateral and just require the 10% as their fee. Some offenses carry an automatic NO BOND status and you cannot bond out of jail until you see the Judge the next day. If you get arrested and booked into the jail before 11:59 pm, and you donâ€™t or cannot bond out, you will see the Judge the next morning on the video monitor. However if you get booked into the jail after 12:00 am, you will not see the Judge until the following day (this is bad).
Remember, the phones at the jail are recorded and anything you say on the phones can be used against you in court. Therefore, do not talk about the facts of your case on the phones or with anyone at the jail.
Time is of the essence. If you get arrested you should call Attorney Andrew Shein ASAP. Each case has its own set of unique facts and circumstances which may require immediate action by me in representing you and preserving your rights. The sooner we can discuss your case the quicker we can set in motion the game plan for showing your arrest was without legal justification or was a BIG mistake. Also, the sooner you know about the legal process and the timeline for your case, the sooner you can relax, get back into your normal routine, and feel confident your case is being professionally and expertly handled.
As always, you can call me ANYTIME at (813) 877-HELP (4357), text me at (813) 833-4200, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or get more information about the law at www.AndrewShein.com.
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