What to Do After an Arrest in Knoxville
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal offense, it can be a very frightening time. It is easy to become overwhelmed with the stress of avoiding a criminal record. Law enforcement officers sometimes make arrests without fully investigating the claims against alleged offenders, people who are ultimately proven not guilty. Proceeding with caution with a skilled Knoxville criminal defense lawyer can be the most proactive way to prevent a criminal conviction after an arrest.
Attorney Robert R. has an Avvo Rating of 10.0 Superb and has a BV® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®. If you have been arrested for a DUI, Attorney Kurtz has been named Top DUI Attorney in Knoxville by Cityview Magazine and can work hard to defend you.
What Happens After an Arrest?
Most people are fearful after being placed under arrest because they are uncertain of what will happen. The arrest process can differ from state to state, but there is a general process followed by most states.
After an arrest, you will:
- Need to remember your Miranda rights, including to stay silent and not make statements that may incriminate you
- Be booked by law enforcement when they bring you to the police department
- Appear in court for arraignment, where you will be formally informed of charges against you
- Need to secure bail if demanded by judge or prosecutor
- Be released if bail is posted
If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or a related offense in Knoxville, you are required to take a breath or blood test in accordance with implied consent laws in Tennessee. You can choose to refuse a breath test or take a chemical test after an arrest, but doing so could subject you to harsher DUI penalties.
With the help of a skilled DUI lawyer, you can fight the allegations against you. Your lawyer also can help you request a hearing with the DMV immediately after your arrest to protect your driver's license from revocation or suspension.
Avoid an Arrest in Knoxville, TN
The best way to avoid an arrest is by being educated and informed of your rights. Many arrests are the result of a person's failure to assert his or her rights or to know what those rights are. If you feel as though you may be facing an impending investigation or arrest, Attorney Robert R. Kurtz suggests that you do the following:
Be One Step Ahead
With more than 24 years of criminal defense experience, I have learned that the most successful case outcomes have been where the attorney and client take a proactive approach to the case.
Do Not Run or Flee the Scene
Many people attempt to run or flee the scene even if they are innocent of a crime. Running from officers could imply guilt. Being involved in an arrest can be a terrifying experience, but despite your fear, choosing to stay put and comply with an arresting officer will be the best decision for your defense. Officers could draw weapons or arrest you forcefully, so cooperating with the arrest -- while also exercising your right to remain silent -- can spare you potential harm and benefit your case.
Do Not Incriminate Yourself by Talking
Do not try to convince officers of your innocence. It is a natural reaction to speak confidently or chat with law enforcement. Remember that officers will be trying to gather any kind of evidence against you. After an arrest, there is no such thing as a harmless conversation with law enforcement officers. Your words -- no matter how minor or seemingly insignificant -- could accidentally incriminate you. Officers are doing their job of trying to find evidence, but you must do your job of protecting your constitutional rights by staying silent.
Do Not Give Permission or Allow Officers to Search
Unless officers have valid warrants, they are not permitted to search your immediate person, your belongings, home, or vehicle. Assert your right by politely but firmly stating that they do not have your permission to search. If officers continue to search your belongings, try to speak loudly to ensure that key witnesses hear that you did not give permission for a search.
Do Not Resist an Arrest
Even if you are innocent of the allegations against you, resisting an arrest could be one of the most harmful things you can do to your defense. Resisting an arrest not only implies guilt but is a criminal offense. Pushing, slapping, or physically harming an officer could lead to additional criminal charges.
Do Not Allow Officers into Your Home, Business, or Company
Stepping to the side or re-entering your home when law enforcement officers are at your door could encourage them to follow you inside, resulting in a warrantless search of your belongings. Police are permitted to search property of an arrested individual. Any evidence found in a warranted search could be seized from your home, car, or business. If anything is seized without a proper warrant, your defense attorney could use this information to suppress the potential evidence in court.
Bail Bond Process
The bail bond process refers to an amount of money or property that is required by the courts to release an individual who has been placed under arrest. Every person placed under arrest for an alleged crime has a constitutional right to have bond set in order to release him or her from jail, unless he or she is charged with a capital crime.
Bonds can be posted in the following ways:
- Cash bond, which can be paid in full to the court
- Bail bond paid through a bail bonds company
- Bail by posting a property bond
In its simplest definition, bonds are used to guarantee a criminal defendant's appearance at all court dates. If a defendant appears at all required court dates, the bond will be returned to the person who posted bond on behalf of the defendant. If the defendant fails to appear to a court date, the bail bond will be forfeited and a bench arrest warrant will be issued for the defendant's arrest; the bail bond also will not be returned.
Protect Your Freedom with Miranda Warnings
Your Miranda warnings are the explanation of your Constitutional right to remain silent and your right to retain legal counsel after an arrest. Both of these rights stem from your Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination. Once you assert your Miranda rights, officers must stop interrogation immediately and obtain a warrant before resuming.
If you have been arrested or are in custody, your silence cannot be used against you, but when you are under investigation and are speaking with officers, your silence could be used against you. If law enforcement officers or federal agents are investigating you for a federal crime or white collar crime, staying silent is not the same thing as stating that you are under legal counsel or representation and have been instructed to not answer questions.
Without actively asserting your Miranda rights, your silence could be seen as an admission of guilt. In either case, the best way to protect your rights is to assert them by stating that you have legal counsel from a Knoxville criminal defense attorney and cannot discuss the matter until your lawyer is present.
Hire a Knoxville Criminal Defense Law Firm
Hiring Robert R. Kurtz, Attorney at Law can influence the outcome of your criminal defense case. Seeking early intervention from a criminal lawyer could mean the difference between protecting your rights and losing your freedom. Ultimately, Attorney Kurtz believes in personally handling every case that comes to his firm so as to effectively protect the rights of clients throughout Knoxville who have been accused of criminal activity.
When you are ready to discuss your arrest, contact the firm to learn more about how Attorney Kurtz can be of assistance in your criminal defense matters. Call now to schedule your case evaluation with Attorney Kurtz.