Being arrested is a terrifying experience that cannot be well understood by those who have never been through it before. One of the first things the police may try to do after they arrest you is to sit you down in the interview room and ask you questions about your alleged crimes. Many people do not understand when they are and are not required to speak with the police in Salt Lake City. They also may not understand when to call a lawyer and what that lawyer can do in helping bring your case to the best possible resolution. Below, our experienced Salt Lake City criminal defense attorneys at the Overson & Bugden explain what you should do when the police want to question you, before or after arrest.
Police Interview before Arrest in Utah
Oftentimes, the police will conduct a lengthy investigation into the occurrence of a crime before making an arrest. During the investigation process, the police will collect evidence. They may also request an interview with you. They may tell you prior to the interview that you are not a suspect but they just want to speak with you regarding what you might know. If you have nothing to hide, your instinct could be to talk to them.
However, it is never a good idea to speak to the police after being arrested in Salt Lake City. You always have the right to remain silent, and before you are arrested you do not need to go to the station for an interview voluntarily. Even if you are innocent, the police are able to twist your words around and can use anything you say against you later on in the criminal process. If you do want to talk, is wise to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer before a police interview, as they can appear with you at the interview and advise you on what you should and should not say.
Police Interview after Arrest in Utah
The same rights that you had before you were arrested with regard to remaining silent apply to officers’ attempts to get you to talk to them after you have been arrested. Again, you may think that, if you have nothing to hide, there is no reason for you not to speak to them and explain what happened. However, it is never smart to speak to the police without your lawyer present. As noted above, police can often twist your words and misinterpret what you said. For example, you may tell the police that you take a morning walk in a certain park everyday not realizing that this park is where a part of the crime you are accused of occurred.
You are always entitled to a lawyer when the police are attempting to question you. If they start to question you in the car ride to the station, tell them you are not going to speak with them until you are given a lawyer. If they bring you into the interview room at the station, tell them you are not going to speak with them until you have a lawyer. Once an experienced West Valley City criminal defense attorney like those at Overson & Bugden is by your side, they will be able to advise you on whether or not to answer the officer’s questions. Until then, insist on a lawyer.
How the Rest of the Criminal Process Plays Out in Salt Lake City
After being arrested in Salt Lake City, you will go through what is known as the booking process, where the police collect your biographical information, take your photo and fingerprints, and inventory any items you had on your person at the time of arrest. You should answer basic biographical questions such as giving your name and address, but remember that you do not have to talk to the police beyond that.
After the booking process, you will have an arraignment and a bail hearing, often conducted as part of the same proceeding. At the arraignment, the judge will read the charges against you and ask you to plead guilty or not guilty. Your lawyer will likely advise you to plead not guilty while they collect evidence and assess the strength of the case.
At the bail hearing, the judge will decide whether you can be released on your own recognizance, released with conditions such as bail, or if you must remain behind bars until the underlying criminal case is resolved. Factors the judge will take into consideration include your ties to the community, your criminal history, any history of not showing up for court appearances, and whether the crime you are alleged to have committed could make you a danger to public safety.
The next step in the process is known as plea bargaining. Your lawyer may try to get the prosecutor to agree to let you into a pre-trial diversion program if the crimes you are accused of are minor. If this is not a possibility, your lawyer will fight to get you a deal, which might include pleading to a lesser charge or the prosecutor agreeing to recommend a more lenient sentence if you give up your right to a jury trial.
Finally, if no deal can be reached, our experienced criminal defense lawyers at Salt Lake City criminal defense law firm Overson & Bugden are ready and able to aggressively defend your case in court. We will leave no stone unturned in working to make sure the best possible criminal defense is presented for you.
Call Our Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Lawyers About Your Rights During Police Questioning
You always have the right to remain silent when police want to interview you, whether this occurs before or after an arrest. You should almost always exercise this right until you have retained an experienced Riverton City riminal defense lawyer like those at Overson & Bugden who can be by your side throughout the questioning process. Our Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyers know what can and cannot get a person in trouble in these interview settings. We can also fight to get you released from jail and bring the underlying criminal matter to a positive resolution. For a free consultation, call us today at (801) 758-2287.