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How long after my arrest should I talk to a lawyer?

Facing arrest can be a stressful and confusing situation. Your first instinct may be to explain why you are innocent to anyone who will listen to you.

However, talking to law enforcement before you speak to an attorney can create challenges for your defense. An effective criminal defense typically includes a detailed strategy before your arrest.

Here are a few reasons you should talk to a lawyer immediately after your arrest.

Before there are questions

After your arrest, the police will want to ask you questions. It is essential to talk to a lawyer before you start answering questions. Also, you should have your attorney with you when talking to the police after your arrest.

The Miranda Warning is an important message. Officers and prosecutors can and will use any statements against you during your trial.

Often, police will ask questions that seem like they have little to do with the circumstances of your arrest. Sometimes, these questions help you feel more comfortable talking so that you are willing to answer more directly-related questions.

Remember, police can lie

While you could face separate charges for lying, officers can mislead you to try to get more information. Law enforcement will use phrases such as:

  • Your friend told us everything we needed to know
  • Let’s just talk about what happened
  • Another officer found evidence at the scene

Typically, the implication is that they want you to have a chance to tell your side of the story or that the conversation is not on the record. However, these conversations are not likely to work in your favor.

You need a lawyer right away

You need to talk to a lawyer immediately after your arrest. Your attorney can give you the support you need while police ask questions, including talking to you about questions you should not answer.

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