Monday, August 22, 2011

What Do You Do When You Are Arrested? Shut Up, Lawyer Up, And Remember That Jail House Walls Have Ears!

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What would you do if you, or a family member, were arrested?  Here is my perspective.  For over 30 years, I have both prosecuted, as a former federal and state prosecutor, and defended, as an Augusta, Georgia criminal defense lawyer, in both state and federal courts.  As a result, over the years, I have picked up a thing or two about how our criminal justice system really works. 

Trust me, getting arrested and dealing with jails and judges isn't all pretty! Hopefully, no one reading this blog will ever be arrested.  But have you ever considered exactly what you should do if the metal bracelets are ever placed on your wrists?  Here are just a few practical tips for you to consider:

1. SHUT UP AND LAWYER UP!  The first important tip for you to consider is the fact that, when you are arrested, under our Constitution, you have the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a criminal lawyer.  The point here is that, generally, you should consider exercising these important rights by shutting up and lawyering up!

2.  DON'T TALK WITH ANYONE IN JAIL:  Another tip for you to consider is the fact that jails are filled with rats and snitches!  In other words, you should avoid talking with any other inmates about your own criminal case!

3.  REMEMBER THAT JAIL HOUSE WALLS HAVE EARS:  Finally, you should assume, or consider as fact, that jailers often monitor everything that goes on in their facilities.  For instance, you should be aware that, generally, jail house telephone calls are monitored and recorded.  As a criminal defense attorney, I have even actually experienced a case in which the government improperly listened to a tape recording of a telephone conversation between a lawyer and a client!  So, the bottom line is:  Remember that jail house walls have ears and that you should watch what you say on the telephone! 

Again, I hope you never go to jail!  But have you ever considered what you would do if you were arrested?

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