What To Do If You’ve Been Arrested

by | Feb 21, 2024 | Criminal Defense

Being arrested can be a bewildering and stressful experience, particularly if you’re unsure of the steps to take afterwards to protect your rights. In Texas, securing legal representation after an arrest is imperative to ensure that your rights are upheld throughout the legal process. Whether facing criminal charges for the first time or not, comprehending the essentials of Texas criminal defense and the value of legal representation cannot be overstressed. Before you discuss the specifics of the case with anyone or make a decision about your next steps, it’s paramount that you understand the gravity of the situation at hand.

Remember, during the critical period after your arrest – while being transported to jail and booked – it’s crucial to remain silent. Evoking your right to silence can significantly impact the course of your case. If you’re grappling with the aftershock of an arrest and the looming uncertainty it brings, know that the assistance of an experienced defense attorney can provide the legal anchor you need during the storm.

Key Takeaways

  • The significance of remaining silent after an arrest cannot be overstated – any statements you make can be utilized against you in court.
  • Although making a phone call from jail is often depicted as a universal right, it is not guaranteed by the Constitution.
  • If the opportunity to make a phone call arises, focus on sharing only your location and the help needed, avoiding case details.
  • Resist the impulse to argue your case with police or during booking, as officers are not in a position to offer legal deals or leniency.
  • Discuss your situation solely with your criminal defense attorney, as they are your strategic partner in navigating the complex legal landscape of Texas.
  • Securing legal representation after arrest is pivotal in forming a defense that respects your interests and seeks to protect your future.

Understanding Your Rights After an Arrest

When you find yourself in the back of a police car or at a booking station, the realities of the justice system quickly become apparent. Key to navigating this unforeseen journey is a foundational understanding of your rights—a shield against self-incrimination and a critical component of your criminal defense strategy. Awareness of your Fifth Amendment rights, paired with knowledge of how and when to invoke them, can make a considerable difference to the outcome of your case.

The Importance of Remaining Silent

As the Miranda warning highlights, you have the right to remain silent. Exercise it. Post-arrest interactions with law enforcement are fraught with risks of accidental self-incrimination. Your silence is a powerful right protected by the Fifth Amendment and is an integral part of self-incrimination protection. Keep in mind, anything you say can sway the balance in a court of law, potentially tipping the scales away from your favor. Discussing anything beyond your name or identification during traffic stops is not obligatory and could compromise your defense.

The Right to Make a Phone Call

Despite popular belief, a phone call from jail is not a constitutionally guaranteed right. However, if granted the chance to communicate with the outside world, adopt a strategy of brevity: disclose only your situation and location, while refraining from discussing the details of your case. This call is your lifeline to securing legal assistance and arranging for bail. Remember, your conversations are likely recorded and can be used as evidence, emphasizing the critical nature of discretion.

Navigating Interrogation Without Incriminating Yourself

During interrogation, law enforcement officers may press for details that could support your prosecution. It’s during these moments that a firm grasp of your Fifth Amendment rights is vital. Politely decline to answer questions and affirm your wish to consult with your attorney, whose job is to safeguard your rights and develop a criminal defense strategy. Though the situation may seem intimidating, maintaining your right to silence until legal counsel is present is a prudent step in protecting yourself legally.

  • Exercise Your Right to Silence: The Fifth Amendment provides protection against self-incrimination, which is your shield in police interactions.
  • Understanding the Miranda Warning: Learn when these rights apply and how they protect you during interrogations and custody.
  • Prudent Phone Call Strategies: Use your call wisely by arranging legal representation and bail without compromising your case.

Selecting a Criminal Defense Attorney in Texas

When it comes to standing before the law, having a reputable Texas criminal defense attorney at your side can be the difference between a favorable outcome and a disappointing verdict. In the Lone Star State, reputations are built on experience and success; firms like McCarty-Larson, PLLC, known for their experienced defense attorneys and proven track record, resonate with clients seeking robust legal defense.

Vetting Experience and Proven Track Record

Selecting the right criminal defense attorney requires thorough vetting of their experience and track record—two factors critical to their capability to handle your case. You want someone who is not only licensed to practice in your state but also has a history of representing clients in situations similar to yours. McCarty-Larson, PLLC, a firm with a myriad of positive client reviews, stands out for its comprehensive understanding and successful handling of Texas criminal law.

Factors to consider when evaluating an attorney’s experience include:

  • The attorney’s familiarity with the type of charges you are facing
  • Local court experience and understanding of regional legal nuances
  • Prior case results that demonstrate a solid capacity to navigate complex criminal cases

Communication and Understanding Legal Representation

Effective communication with your legal counsel is foundational to a strong attorney-client relationship. An experienced defense attorney understands the nuances of legal representation and will keep their clients informed throughout the process. It is essential that you establish a relationship where questions are welcomed and concerns are addressed promptly. The ability to discuss your case’s specifics without communication barriers is indispensable for an optimized legal strategy.

A complete appreciation of the attorney’s fee schedule, payment terms, and the availability of free consultations works to align your expectations and ensure transparency in financial dealings.

Consideration in Lawyer SelectionWhy It Matters
Licensure and Local Court ExperienceAssures knowledge of Texas law and court procedures.
Track Record and Client ReviewsIndicates past success and client satisfaction (e.g., over 259 5-star reviews for McCarty-Larson, PLLC).
Fee Schedule TransparencyHelps to avoid any hidden costs and manage your budget effectively.
Communication Style and AccessibilityEnsures that you are informed and comfortable with the legal process.
Free Consultations OfferedProvides an opportunity to understand your case better without an initial financial commitment.

Remember, when facing legal challenges, partnering with an experienced defense attorney, particularly one from a trusted firm like McCarty-Larson, PLLC with a proven track record in Texas, is your crucial next step. Lay the foundation for a strong defense by carefully selecting a legal expert who embodies experience, commitment, and an understanding of your unique situation.

Posting Bail: The First Steps to Regain Freedom

Understanding the bail process is critical when seeking to regain your freedom after an arrest. The choice of bail bond and the strategy to reduce bond amounts are key steps in this direction. Let’s explore the types of bonds and actionable strategies that can make a significant difference.

Types of Bonds: Cash Bond, Surety Bond, and PR Bond

There are typically three main types of bonds that can be utilized to secure your release from jail:

  • Cash Bond: Requires the full amount of bail to be paid in cash. This can be a considerable sum, hence not always the first choice for many individuals.
  • Surety Bond: Involves a bail bondsman who, for a fee, fronts the bail amount. The fee is typically a percentage of the total bail and is non-refundable.
  • PR Bond (Personal Recognizance): May be granted if the court deems you a low flight risk. It essentially involves your written promise to attend all court dates.

Strategies to Get a Bond Amount Reduced

With potential financial implications, securing a reduced bond amount can alleviate the strain on your resources. Consider consulting a criminal defense lawyer to present a compelling case for reduction. Some factors that might be highlighted include:

  • Strong community ties, suggesting a lower risk of fleeing.
  • Lack of prior criminal history or past compliance with court appearances.
  • The non-violent nature of the alleged offense.

A reduction in the bond amount not only eases the burden on you and your family but also allows you to better focus on preparing your defense.

Type of BondTypical RequirementPotential for Cost Reduction
Cash BondFull amount up frontLow (refunded if court requirements met)
Surety BondPercentage of total bailFee is fixed; no refund
PR BondNo cost; based on good faithN/A (No cost involved)

Posting bail is your preliminary move towards reclaiming your life outside the confines of jail. Whether opting for a cash bond, surety bond, or a PR bond, each has its own path towards securing release. Always remember that an experienced criminal defense lawyer can be instrumental in not only guiding you through this initial phase but potentially aiding in getting your bond amount reduced.

Life After Release: Navigating the Conditions of Bail

Securing your release from incarceration embarks you on a new chapter where adhering to bail conditions becomes a pivotal element of your ongoing legal process. By understanding these conditions detailed in the post-release agreement, you not only ensure your freedom but also take necessary strides in optimizing your defense strategy with trusted criminal defense services. Compliance is more than a guideline; it’s an essential covenant with the court that you are obliged to honor meticulously while out on bail.

Having regained your liberty, remember that certain behaviors and activities could be restricted; for example, the court may impose travel limitations to ensure your presence during upcoming legal proceedings. The restrictions set forth can often vary widely, depending on factors such as the nature of the criminal charge, your past record, and the overall assessment of your flight risk. To continually uphold these bail conditions, collaboration with your criminal defense attorney is instrumental in navigating the intricacies of your case.Key Aspects to Monitor While Out on Bail:

  • Understand all conditions and restrictions imposed by the court: It is crucial to seek clarity on every term outlined in your release agreement.
  • Regular check-ins with your defense attorney: Keep an open line of communication to stay informed about any changes or updates in your legal status.
  • Stay within the designated geographical bounds: Unless explicit permission is granted, do not travel outside the areas as defined by your bail conditions.
  • Avoid contact with parties involved: Steer clear of potential witnesses or co-defendants, as dictated by the terms of your release.

Here’s a comprehensive breakdown of the potential conditions you may need to fulfill:

Bail ConditionDescriptionSignificance
CurfewMandatory return to your residence during specified hours.Maintains accountability, minimizes risk of further legal infractions.
Travel RestrictionsLimitations on movement outside certain areas.Assures the court of your availability for proceedings.
No-Contact OrdersProhibition from interacting with specific persons.Prevents witness tampering or potential harassment.
Sobriety ConditionsStipulations prohibiting alcohol or drug use.Safeguards against conduct that could lead to re-arrest.
Employment RequirementsContinue or seek employment as a bail condition.Demonstrates stability and positive engagement with the community.

Maintaining compliance is not just a legal obligation but also reflects your commitment to the judicial process. While out on bail, every conduct and choice should be grounded in the understanding that adherence to these regulations is under constant evaluation. Failing to comply may result in revocation of bail, re-incarceration, or additional charges. Lean on the experienced guidance of a criminal defense attorney to bolster your understanding of these conditions and support your journey through the courts, ensuring your actions align with court mandates and contribute positively to your case outcome.

Preparing for Your Day in Court

As you advance from the initial shock of an arrest towards your first appearance in court, understanding the criminal justice system’s procedures will offer you clarity and control over your situation. Trial preparation begins well before you step into the courtroom, and being informed is your greatest asset. Your defense attorney plays a pivotal role in guiding you through every step of the court process, ensuring that you’re adequately prepared for what lies ahead.

What to Expect During a Detention Hearing

A detention hearing is a crucial juncture in the judicial process where the court assesses whether to release you on bail or hold you in custody until trial. During this hearing, the prosecution and your defense attorney will present arguments concerning your flight risk and any danger you might pose to the community. This proceeding sets the groundwork for trial preparation and influences how you will build your defense strategy. With the potential for restrictions on your freedom, every detail presented in court matters immensely.

The Timeline from Arrest to Court Appearance

The sequence of events from the moment of arrest to your court appearance is dictated by strict legal guidelines. Typically, an arraignment – where you will hear the charges against you and enter a plea – will occur promptly after arrest. Legal mandates generally enforce a threshold of 48 hours for this initial arraignment. Your defense attorney’s role is to offer advice on plea options and to begin forming a defense strategy that aligns with your best interests, inclusive of minimizing potential repercussions.

Stage of Legal ProcessPoint of ActionDefense Attorney’s Role
ArrestImmediate custody, rights are readAdvise to remain silent, prepare for detention hearing
BookingData collection, identificationEnsure correct procedures, arrange for bail hearing
Detention HearingWithin 48 hours of arrestArgue for release on bail, emphasize lack of flight risk
ArraignmentPost-detention hearingDiscuss plea options, outline next steps for defense
Trial PreparationLeading up to trial dateGather evidence, prepare witnesses, develop legal strategy

Your defense attorney is your ally throughout this process, from advising you during a detention hearing to developing a comprehensive legal strategy that includes questioning witnesses, reviewing evidence, and considering plea bargains. The overarching goal is to position your case favorably for trial or to reach a resolution that spares you further legal complications.

Texas Criminal Defense: Building a Strong Legal Strategy

Navigating the criminal justice system requires a purposeful and well-orchestrated defense strategy. This complex process often begins with choosing a criminal defense law firm capable of crafting a defense that responds adeptly to the intricacies of Texas law. A strong criminal defense strategy is not a one-size-fits-all solution; rather, it’s personalized, developed through meticulous consideration of the facts at hand, and designed to protect your rights effectively.

An adept law firm will begin by thoroughly evaluating all available evidence to identify the strongest course of action. This initial assessment is the cornerstone of an effective legal strategy, providing the foundation upon which your case will be built. These early steps in strategizing involve identifying plausible defenses, observing legal precedents, and understanding the prosecutor’s likely approach to your case.

Negotiating plea bargains can also form a critical element of your legal strategy. While not always the preferred route, sometimes these negotiations are in your best interest. An experienced defense attorney will know when to negotiate and how to do so effectively, ensuring that any agreements made serve your interest and aim for reduced charges or penalties.

However, if your case goes to trial, vigorous preparation is crucial. A strong defense requires detailed understanding and articulation of the laws relevant to your case. Preparing for trial involves anything from rehearsing witness testimony to analyzing prosecution evidence for weaknesses. Your legal team should leave no stone unturned.

Engaging with a law firm that offers comprehensive criminal defense services assures that every facet of your case is explored and leveraged to your advantage. Let’s look at what to consider when selecting a law firm to ensure the optimal development of your legal strategy:

ConsiderationReasonImpact on Legal Strategy
Experience in Texas LawFamiliarity with state statutes, case law, and court proceduresDevelop nuanced, well-informed defense tactics specific to Texas
Historical Case OutcomesInsights into the firm’s track record and proficiency in handling casesBetter prediction of legal unpredictabilities and mitigation strategies
Plea Bargaining SkillsAbility to negotiate with prosecutors for reduced sentences or chargesExpand the range of potential outcomes beyond the binary of trial win/loss
Preparation for TrialComprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the caseEnable strategic maneuvering within the courtroom, seeking favorable rulings

As you prepare to face your legal challenges, remember that a trusted criminal defense law firm is indispensable. An attorney with deep knowledge of criminal defense strategy is not only your advocate but also your primary weapon in securing justice. Customize your defense by making informed choices that ultimately shape the outcome of your legal journey in Texas. With the right team in your corner, you place yourself in a position to navigate through difficult waters toward a more hopeful horizon.


In the whirlwind that follows an arrest, it’s essential to keep a clear head and proactively seek the support of a knowledgeable criminal defense team. The path ahead may seem daunting but remember, pivotal steps taken at this juncture can significantly influence the outcome of your case. It is here that the expertise of an experienced defense attorney becomes invaluable, helping you to make informed decisions and navigate the judicial system.

Maintaining a Level Head and Seeking Support

The period after an arrest is one of uncertainty and pressure. The key is not to succumb to panic but to maintain composure. By securing criminal defense support right away, you assert control over your situation. An experienced defense attorney acts as both your shield in legal altercations and your advisor in tactical decisions. They become the cornerstone of your defense, ensuring that your rights are upheld and offering guidance rooted in an intimate understanding of legal complexities.

How McCarty-Larson, PLLC Can Assist You Through the Process

Choosing a well-established firm like McCarty-Larson, PLLC, renowned for their extensive experience and positive client feedback, can ease the anxiety of facing criminal charges. With over 259 5-star reviews, McCarty-Larson, PLLC has demonstrated time and again their ability to provide robust criminal defense support. They stand prepared to vigorously defend your rights and work tirelessly for a favorable resolution. As your partners through this challenging time, the skilled team at McCarty-Larson, PLLC will apply their deep legal acumen to help you attain the best possible outcome.


What should I do immediately after being arrested in Texas?

If you’ve been arrested in Texas, it is essential to request a lawyer immediately and exercise your right to remain silent to avoid self-incrimination. You should not agree to any deals or answer any questions beyond identifying yourself without legal representation present.

Why is remaining silent so important after an arrest?

Remaining silent is a critical aspect of protecting your rights because anything you say can be used against you in court. This self-incrimination protection is part of your Fifth Amendment rights and is crucial to your criminal defense strategy.

Am I allowed to make a phone call if I’m arrested?

While there is no constitutional right to make a phone call after being arrested, local policies may permit it. If allowed, make a brief call to inform someone of your location and to contact a Texas criminal defense attorney on your behalf, but do not discuss your case.

How do I navigate interrogation without incriminating myself?

Navigating an interrogation without incriminating yourself involves invoking your Fifth Amendment rights, including the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Do not engage in conversation with police without an attorney present, even if you feel the desire to explain your side of the story.

How do I vet an attorney’s experience and track record?

When selecting a criminal defense attorney in Texas, you should ask about their experience with cases similar to yours, request to see testimonials or reviews such as those found for McCarty-Larson, PLLC, which has over 259 5-star reviews, and verify their licensure to practice in your state.

What type of communication should I expect with my criminal defense attorney?

You should expect open and clear communication with your criminal defense attorney. Ensure that you feel comfortable discussing your case with them and that they provide realistic expectations about the legal process and potential outcomes.

What types of bonds are available and how do I get released on bail?

There are several types of bonds, including cash bonds, surety bonds, and personal recognizance (PR) bonds. The type of bond suitable for your release will depend on the circumstances of your case. An experienced attorney can advise on strategies to get the bond amount reduced.

What should I do after getting released on bail?

After release on bail, it is crucial to comply with all conditions set by the court. Stay in regular contact with your criminal defense attorney and ensure you understand and adhere to the terms of your bail. Failing to follow these conditions can result in re-arrest or other legal complications.

What can I expect during a detention hearing?

During a detention hearing, the court determines whether you will be held in custody or granted bail while awaiting trial. You should be prepared to present evidence of your ties to the community or any factors that indicate you are not a flight risk, which an attorney can help orchestrate.

How should I prepare for my court appearances from arrest to trial?

Preparation includes understanding the criminal process, from arraignment to trial, developing a defense strategy with your attorney, and aligning on expectations. Your attorney will guide you through each step, ensuring that you know when to appear in court and how to effectively contribute to your defense.

What is involved in building a strong legal strategy for my defense?

Building a strong legal strategy involves reviewing evidence, identifying potential defenses, negotiating plea deals if it’s in your best interest, and preparing for trial. This requires the expertise of a criminal defense law firm that offers comprehensive defense services.

How can McCarty-Larson, PLLC assist me throughout the legal process?

McCarty-Larson, PLLC can provide you with a seasoned criminal defense attorney in Texas to help navigate the complexities of your case. They offer support at every stage, ensuring that your rights are protected and working towards the best possible outcome with their proven track record.