Common Mistakes People Make After an Arrest – Oklahoma Criminal Defense Attorney

The number one mistake that somebody can make after an arrest is not following their attorney’s advice. The attorney has seen plenty of people in similar situations, and they know the right thing for their client to do. Not following that advice can lead to a bad outcome in a defendant’s case.

Another mistake people make after getting arrested is to commit more crimes. Prosecutors get really upset when a defendant commits a new crime while they already have a case pending. The defendant should not use drugs or threaten, harass, or abuse witnesses. Additionally, the defendant should attend the classes that their attorney recommends.

I have my clients fill out a form that asks questions about their background and the good things they’re doing. This is so I can present an image of my client to the prosecutor as someone who is doing great things rather than someone doing nothing but committing crimes. I also have clients fill out a form that asks about the arrest. The purpose of this form is to find legal issues concerning the arrest and get the client’s version of events in their own words. It is important that those forms are completed and returned to me as soon as possible. I also advise clients who are arrested for drug crimes to begin taking drug tests as frequently as possible. Ideally, the tests should be done weekly. But, they can be less frequent due to a client’s financial situation. Some clean drug tests are better than none.

What Paperwork Will I Have When I Get Out Of Jail On Bond?

The most important thing to do after getting released from jail is to go to the next court date. A defendant will most likely get a court date prior to leaving jail. They must keep in contact with their attorney and bondsman and let them know as soon as they are released. A defendant will probably have paperwork from the bondsman and possibly the ticket or citation. Depending on how long a defendant was in jail, they may also have their Information, which is the official charging document, and the probable cause affidavit, a brief account by the law enforcement officer of what happened.

When Do I Have To Appear In Court After An Arrest?

It’s possible to have a court appearance in the first month after an arrest. The first appearance after an arrest will be the arraignment. The arraignment could happen days to years after an arrest or release from jail. It all depends on which county the defendant is in and how big of a case load that county has.

Should I Voluntarily Start Counseling Before My First Court Date?

The defendant should absolutely start counseling before their first court date. It can do nothing but help their case. Money permitting, I recommend people attend the most robust counseling they can afford. Inpatient drug treatment is best, and then on the other side of the spectrum is drug classes. In the middle of the spectrum is outpatient drug treatment. Some prosecutors don’t consider anything other than inpatient drug treatment to be worthwhile. However, others would prefer that somebody do something rather than nothing. I recommend that clients do whatever they can afford.

There are also other classes that people can take such as the alcohol and drug substance abuse counseling (ADSAC), anger management classes, and batterer’s intervention program. This helps the clients in two ways. First, it gets these requirements taken care of prior to having to plead so that once they do plead and they are under a court order to complete them, the defendant can’t be hauled back into court later for not having complied with those terms of the plea agreement. The second major way that it helps the client is that it usually improves the plea offer from the prosecutor.

There is a misconception that doing classes or going to counseling prior to pleading demonstrates the defendant’s guilt. That is absolutely not the case. Most cases end in a plea. Prosecutors place great value on the classes or counseling a defendant attends. Knocking out some probation requirements prior to a plea almost always improves the plea offer. Sometimes, the facts in a case are so bad that the only way to improve the outcome is to take classes. Delaying or not taking classes will not help a defendant’s case. Getting as many classes and other probation requirements knocked out quickly impresses prosecutors and demonstrates to them that you are taking your situation seriously. If you want to improve the outcome in your case, then you should start the recommended classes and/or counseling as soon as possible.

What Should A Potential Client Who Has Been Arrested Recently Do?

Do not talk about your case with anyone, especially on a jail phone. Jail phones are recorded, and what a defendant says can and will be held against them. In addition, any person with whom a defendant makes contact can potentially be called to testify in court. Statements made by the defendant are not considered hearsay, so any statement by the defendant is admissible in court. It is best not to talk about the facts of a case with anyone.

The defendant must also stay away from their criminal associates. I recommend that people with pending cases not do drugs. I understand it can be difficult to stop doing drugs, but there comes a time when a person must really consider what’s more important in life—a short-term high or long-term freedom. I also recommend that my clients do counseling, go to classes, take weekly drug tests and begin gathering letters of reference. I have my clients contact employers, pastors, and volunteer organizations that they work with in order to gather reference letters to give to the prosecutor.