What are my first steps after an arrest?

When facing an arrest in the state of Iowa, there are probably many thoughts swirling around in your head, and you may not know how to react.

To avoid making crucial mistakes while in police custody, it is important not to panic but to remain calm and follow a specific protocol.

Remain Silent

At the time of your arrest, a law enforcement officer must read you your Miranda rights. Invoke your right to remain silent by politely refusing to answer any questions without legal representation. Do not resist arrest. Do not attempt to talk your way out of going to jail and do not participate in a police interview without a lawyer present. If you believe officers have violated your rights, remember their names and patrol car numbers if possible.

Tell Someone Where You Are

Within a reasonable amount of time after your arrest, the jail staff should allow you to make a phone call. Whether you call an attorney, a family member or a bail bonds company, you should let a trustworthy person know that you are in jail and in need of assistance. He or she may ask you questions about your situation; however, jail personnel often record phone conversations. It is very important that you do not discuss the facts of your case over the phone or with anyone other than your lawyer.

If accused of a crime in Iowa, understanding and protecting your rights is essential to making sure the criminal court handles your case fairly.