Arrested for a Crime You Didn’t Commit: A 48-hour Checklist to Protect the Truth
Getting arrested for a crime you didn’t commit can be terrifying. But it’s important to stay calm: even while under arrest, you can take affirmative steps to protect the true story and rights. Here’s a short checklist describing how to protect yourself during the 48-hours post-arrest in Indiana.
1. Request a lawyer
As soon as possible after your arrest, politely inform the police that you would like to speak to a lawyer. Hiring a good Indiana criminal defense lawyer is the smartest way to defend yourself after an arrest. Your lawyer is in your corner. They make sure that the court will hear your side of the story and receive all possible favorable evidence. Taking advantage of this constitutional right is essential.
2. Remain silent
You have no duty to respond to a police interrogation without a lawyer present. Once you’ve answered basic questions about your identity and asked for a lawyer, inform the police that you’re exercising your right to remain silent. They must stop questioning you immediately. Remain silent until your lawyer arrives. You might think you’re helping matters by volunteering a few facts, but you could be doing more harm than good. The police are not on your side. Be patient and wait for your lawyer to help you through this.
3. Be courteous
If the police have arrested for a crime you didn’t commit, it’s normal to feel outraged. But you must nonetheless keep your cool at all times. If you become aggressive, the police may make life very difficult for you or even bring additional charges against you. So, take some deep breaths and stay calm and courteous.
4. Start thinking about the facts of your arrest.
Even though getting arrest is bound to rattle you, try to pull yourself together and start focusing on facts that can help prove your innocence. Consider possible witnesses, photographic evidence, or documents that can help your case. Also, reflect on the circumstances of your arrest: did the police read the Miranda warning? What did the police say you were being charged with? What exactly did you say to them in response? Write down these facts as soon as possible, and discuss them with your lawyer.