What to Do if You’re Arrested for the First Time in Houston?Published: Oct 17, 2022 in Criminal Defense
If this is your first time being arrested in Houston, or anywhere across the state of Texas, you may wonder what’s next.
You must exercise your rights and know your responsibilities when arrested to protect your future and effectively navigate the criminal justice system.
Exercise Your Rights & Responsibilities
If this is your first arrest, you may risk making mistakes that could cost you in the long run. Although you may be ready to call a family member or friend for help after you’ve been arrested, contacting a bail bond company for help would better suit you after your arrest.
Until you are released from jail, your attorney can do little to help you. However, in some instances, if you reach out to a criminal defense lawyer for help, they may pre-arrange your bail so you can spend as little time as possible behind bars.
You must know your rights at this time. Although you may feel tempted to provide a statement to move forward, the less you say to the police, the better. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Exercise your right to remain silent. Don’t make the mistake of having your words misconstrued only to be used against you during this difficult time in your life.
You should always be cooperative with police and get a criminal defense attorney working on your defense as soon as possible to avoid the potential consequences of a criminal conviction.
What Is the Arrest Process in Houston?
After police place you in handcuffs, you may wonder what to expect from the arrest process. First, police will determine whether you should be sent to a local police department or a county jail.
Generally, the law enforcement facility the police take you to depends on which law enforcement agency arrests you. Here is what will happen after you are officially placed under arrest:
- Police will tell you what crime you are being charged with
- You will be transported to the jail for your booking
- You may have your chemical blood alcohol content levels checked if you are under suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI)
- Police may attempt to interview you, obtain copies of your fingerprints, take your mugshot, and ask you for personal details about yourself
- You can expect all your personal items to be taken and stored in the jail facility while you are being processed and held
- You will be allowed to contact the person of your choosing; this should almost certainly be a bail bonds person or your criminal defense lawyer
- At this time, you will be arraigned, and bail will be determined
- If you are granted bail, your attorney will begin working on your defense strategy and filing any necessary pretrial motions, such as motions to suppress evidence or dismiss your case altogether
Know Your Options as a First-Time Offender
If this is your first time being charged with a criminal offense, the court system may be more willing to work with you.
For many first-time offenders, pretrial diversion is available. However, pretrial diversion is only available to individuals charged with non-violent offenses. If you are charged with a sex crime, for example, you may not qualify for pretrial diversion.
If you are eligible for pretrial diversion, you must meet specific requirements to avoid having your case ultimately brought to trial. Alternatively, suppose you do not qualify for pretrial diversion. In that case, your attorney must closely evaluate the circumstances of your case to determine which defense options are most likely to produce a favorable outcome in your case.
After reviewing the circumstances of your case and the charges against you, your attorney will better understand how to approach your defense strategy.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Houston for Help Today
If you are being arrested, exercising your rights, understanding your responsibilities, preparing for the arrest process, and working with your attorney to consider your options as a first-time offender will be critical.
Do not hesitate to contact an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Ned Barnett for help today. Schedule your confidential case evaluation when you call our office at (713) 222-6767 or fill out our online contact form.