I Have Been Arrested in San Diego, Now What Do I Do?

I Have Been Arrested in San Diego, Now What Do I Do?

arrested in san diego

Have You Been Arrested In San Diego

When the police take you into custody, be it for a felony or misdemeanor, there are actions you can take to protect your rights.

If arrested or charges are filed against you, do not talk to the police.  Typically the police should read your Miranda rights to you. Miranda rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.  You should then remain silent and contact a good San Diego criminal defense attorney.

The Arresting Officer

Although you may have been falsely accused, do not argue your case with the police officer.   The police officer does not have the discretion to release you if a warrant has been issued.  If he takes you into custody based on his observations of what he perceived to be a criminal violation, it is unlikely he will reverse his decision.  At best, the police officer does not care what you have to say. At worse, he will take notes concerning what you said and use it against you in court.

Sometimes the police officer will seem sympathetic.  You will get the line, “If you help us now, we will go easy on you.” A law professor, and formerly a federal prosecutor, was asked if defendants gain anything by making an admission to the police and trying to cut a deal themselves when arrested. He replied, “Yes, the fast track to hell.”


 If you have the resources to hire a private attorney, hire a good experienced attorney immediately.  If you want a court-appointed attorney and qualify for one, the court will appoint one for you.  Whether you have a court-appointed attorney or hire your own attorney, early decisions you make will improve the chances for a successful outcome in the case.  The first decision is who to talk with about your case. That decision is easy. Your attorney is the only person who you should speak with concerning the substance of your case.

It is okay, and will probably be necessary, to call family and friends if you have been arrested to arrange for the attorney and raise bail. However, do not talk with them about the substance of the case.  Jail house telephone calls are frequently monitored and recorded; everything you say can be turned over to the district attorney and used as evidence against you.  Only tell the charges, where you are being held and that you need an attorney.

If you are arrested, do not discuss your case with other people that are detained.  Frequently, inmates think they can confide with other inmates.  Don’t do it.  That inmate sitting beside you might be willing to make a deal with the district attorney at your expense.  Moreover, he could be willing to lie about what you said to get an even better deal.   Keep quiet, it does not matter how innocent the information seems. That ban includes your best friends and your family.  Tell it all to your attorney and no one else.

Be Proactive

In some jurisdictions, depending on the charge, the police may notify the accused that charges have been filed by a telephone call or some other unobtrusive method.  If the authorities grant you this favor, call an experienced criminal law attorney immediately.  This is also an excellent time to start making arrangements to pay bail.  Since the authorities called and asked you to come in, they probably do not think you are a flight risk or a danger to the community.  Therefore, your bail should be low or you may be released with no bail.

Even if the charges are groundless and you are sure you can handle it; a good experienced criminal law attorney is essential.  A seemingly minor or groundless charge is like a small cut. If it is not handled properly, a serious infection can occur.

Often a defendant will hear that charges have been filed through the grapevine.  Even if the charges are a total fabrication and absurd, be proactive.  Do not wait for the authorities to come for you; call your attorney immediately.

Turning yourself in and having a respected criminal law attorney is a huge benefit.  The first objective is to get a low bail set or to be released without bail.  Flight risk is a critical factor in setting bail.  Flight risk refers to the chances that an individual will not show up for court. Calling your attorney and then going to the police station are evidence that you are responsible and will be present at court.  Moreover, a respected attorney’s credibility can help you.  Although it is not an official point of law, magistrates and judges often grant a bit more leniency to the accused if they know and trust the attorney; this can result in a lower bail.

Nothing is gained by waiting for the police to come for you. Imagine driving along in your car with a friend and unbeknownst to you, your passenger has a baggie of marijuana and pushes it under the seat when police lights appear flashing in the rear window.  The police want you for a charge that is groundless.  Those charges get dropped, but now you have to explain the marijuana in your car. Call your attorney immediately when you first hear or suspect that charges have been filed and avoid additional problems.

In summation, you have the right to remain silent, use it.  Call your attorney immediately when you are arrested or a problem is looming. A respected San Diego criminal defense attorney like Ashby Sorensen can help you with the big problems and keep little problems from turning into major problems.  858-999-6921.


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