What Happens After You Get Arrested in Salt Lake City?

For many people, especially those who have not had previous interactions with law enforcement, being arrested can be the scariest and most disorienting experience of their lives. Perhaps the most frightening part is not knowing exactly what is going to happen next. However, there are several steps you can take if you keep your head on straight to protect yourself and your freedom, the most important of which is reaching out to a skilled Salt Lake City criminal defense attorney like those at Overson & Bugden as soon as possible. Below, our lawyers explain what typically happens after a Salt Lake City arrest and how we can help you navigate each step of the criminal process to the most positive possible resolution.

For a free case review, contact our Salt Lake City defense attorneys at Overson Law, PLLC by calling (801) 758-2287.

What to Do After Being Arrested in Utah

Nobody wants to be arrested, so it makes sense that you might not consider what to do if the unthinkable occurs. However, knowing what to do after being arrested can protect you from consequences that could impact your life for years to come. If you have an arrest warrant or have been arrested, our Salt Lake City defense attorneys can provide you with the legal support you need throughout your prosecution. Still, our attorneys will be able to make the most of your defense if you know your rights when you are arrested and on your own. The following is what you should do after getting arrested in Utah:

Do Not Resist

The beginning of an arrest is often a highly stressful event, but how you react will be incredibly important. The key is to not resist the arrest. Even if you know you are innocent and believe the arrest is illegal, do not resist. The police can be mistaken when making an arrest, and it will not be a defense to resisting.

Most likely, it will result in additional charges and a court less sympathetic to your circumstances. The best thing to do is let the arrest happen and then contact our attorneys to fight the basis for the arrest in court.

Confirm the Arrest and Charges

Sometimes, the police do not make it clear whether you are being arrested or just detained. You have a right to know, so it is okay to ask the police whether you are being arrested and what crime you are suspected of. If you are only detained, you should have the right to walk away. If you are being arrested, though, the police must read you your Miranda rights, which include your rights to remain silent and your right to an attorney.

Exercise Your Right to Remain Silent

Perhaps the most important step to follow after an arrest is to exercise your right to remain silent. Unfortunately, not everyone takes advantage of this right, often overexplaining their situation. However, the police warn that anything you say can be used against you. So, if you offer details thinking it will get you out of the arrest, it is more likely to be twisted and used against you during your prosecution.

It is also harder to defend against facts you have admitted to. Thus, remain silent throughout police processing, aside from requesting your phone call and that our lawyers be present.

Stay Quiet in Custody

Remaining silent does not only apply to the police. You should also keep quiet while in custody. In some cases, you might be in a holding cell for up to 72 hours before having a bail hearing. It is likely that others will be held in the same cell as you. However, resist the urge to talk about your case with your cellmates. Anything you say to them could potentially be used against you later as they could be called as witnesses. If another inmate sees an opportunity to lessen their punishment by offering evidence against you, they will likely take it. The general rule is to only speak about your case with your attorney.

Be Brief with Your Phone Call

As most people know, you have a right to a phone call to let someone know you have been arrested. Contrary to popular belief, though, you can typically make more than one call. While you should let your family know what has happened, one of your calls should be to our firm so we can prepare how to get you out.

Legal strategies or facts of the case will not be discussed on the phone call. Unless you are speaking with an attorney, your conversation is almost certain to be recorded. Thus, be brief with your call, stating only the details necessary to locate you and work on your defense.

Do Not Sign Any Statements

One tactic the police use to gather evidence against you is to have you sign a sworn statement. However, signing a statement is as good as admitting to what the police say in the document. It might also be presented in a way that makes you think it will resolve the issue. Just as you should not discuss the case with the police, do not sign statements they present to you.

As soon as the police begin questioning you, you should ask for an attorney. Once you have exercised your right to an attorney, the police must stop their questioning until counsel arrives.

Invoke Your Right to Speak to an Attorney

Having a lawyer by your side after an arrest can make a significant difference in your case. We will help you answer the police’s questions so that you do not accidentally incriminate yourself. We will also prepare arguments for why you should be granted bail while awaiting trial. From there, we will review the state’s evidence against you and file motions to keep it from being used in your case.

Arrest and Initial Appearance in Salt Lake City

In some cases, for minor crimes and infractions like traffic violations, the officers may simply write you a citation with a court date on it and allow you to go on your way. Usually, however, if the police suspect you of having committed a crime, they will place you under arrest. If they personally witness you commit the crime or otherwise have probable cause to believe that you did so, they can arrest you on the spot.

Otherwise, some sort of investigation will be conducted, and once the police believe they have enough evidence that you committed the crime, they will apply for a warrant for your arrest from a judge. If the warrant is granted, the police will then come to your home or place of business to execute it and place you under arrest. After this, you will be brought to the local police station for the booking process, where you are photographed and fingerprinted, and your biographical information is collected.

Following booking, you will be held in the station’s holding cell or at the local jail until your initial appearance and pretrial release hearing can be held, usually within no more than 72 hours. At the initial appearance, the judge will read the charges against you, advise you of your rights during a criminal case, and, if your charge is a misdemeanor, ask you to enter an initial plea of guilty or not guilty. A skilled lawyer for a criminal arraignment will likely advise you to enter a not-guilty plea so we have time to assess the case. At the pretrial release hearing, the judge will decide if you can be released with no conditions, released on bail, or must be held in jail until the charges against you are resolved. You will definitely want an experienced Salt Lake City pretrial release hearing attorney like those at Overson & Bugden arguing on your behalf at this hearing to convince the judge that you are not a threat to public safety and should be released on little to no bail.

Pre-Trial Events and Plea Bargaining in Salt Lake City

Once we have dealt with getting you released from custody, our skilled criminal defense lawyers will turn our attention to working on getting the charges against you downgraded or dismissed. In some felony and class A misdemeanor cases, there will be an optional preliminary hearing where the prosecutor must show that they have probable cause for the case to proceed.

While the prosecutor will often try to get you to waive this, you should never do so without consulting with an experienced criminal defense lawyer like those at Overson & Bugden. In many cases, even if we do not believe the case will be dismissed at this hearing, it is a good chance to get a look at the prosecutor’s evidence and witnesses and to give us more bargaining chips during a potential plea negotiation.

Following this, we will request any outstanding evidence that we have not received from the prosecutor, file any relevant motions like a motion to suppress evidence resulting from an illegal search and seizure and begin working on a plea deal with the prosecutor.

In some cases where you are a first-time offender or have a minimal criminal record, we may be able to convince the prosecutor to allow you into a pre-trial diversion program or to enter a plea in abeyance. In either case, if you successfully complete the court’s requirement and stay out of trouble for a certain period of time, the charges against you will be dropped, and you will not have a criminal record. Other possible deals include the prosecutor downgrading the charge to something less serious or agreeing to recommend a lenient sentence to the judge.

Salt Lake City Criminal Trials

Of course, our battle-tested trial attorneys at Overson & Bugden are always ready to fight for a not-guilty verdict at trial if you do not wish to take a deal. For all misdemeanor and felony charges, you are entitled to a trial by a jury of your peers who must vote unanimously to convict you.

However, you also have the option of electing to have a bench trial, which occurs before a single judge makes all the rulings, including ruling on guilt or innocence. An experienced trial lawyer like those at our firm will be able to help you understand which type of trial will be most likely to produce a not guilty verdict in your case.

At trial, whether before a jury or judge, our lawyers will leave no stone unturned, introducing evidence and witnesses in your favor, aggressively questioning the evidence and witnesses introduced against you, and arguing that the prosecutor has not met their burden to prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt.

If You Have Been Arrested in Salt Lake City, Call Our Skilled Defense Attorneys Right Away

Call Overson Law, PLLC at (801) 758-2287 for a free case evaluation with our Salt Lake City defense lawyers.