5 Things to Know Before You Get Arrested

  1. Police officers are allowed to lie to you.
    You should not argue with them or the evidence they claim to have. They are trained to manipulate your emotions to get you off balance and reveal inconsistencies in your story. Just like Nike would not release a commercial at 2:30 in the morning without speaking to their marketing board, you should not release a statement to police without talking to your attorney first. I have seen innocent people be charged with crimes by making statements that were seemingly inconsistent in an emotional reaction to what the police were accusing them of.
  2. Your first response to any interaction with law enforcement is "Am I free to leave, officer?"
    If the answer is yes, leave. If the answer is no, you're legally obliged to remain there. But you can and you should ask it again if the answer is anything other than yes or no. If you have to remain there, you should still not answer any questions without an attorney present.
    They will not magically give you an attorney and may still arrest you but simply admitting to crimes or engaging in arguments with officers who believe you have committed a crime can only lead to worse consequences. Apologies usually do not get you anywhere at the scene but they do make it harder to get out of something or get a good deal later.
  3. Oregon does not have bail bondsmen. Bail is set initially by the lodging officer and then is revisited at arraignment, which in Jackson County will be done at 1:45 on the first business day following the arrest. In other counties, there must be an arraignment within 36 hours excluding weekends and holidays based on ORS 135.010. At that arraignment, bail will be set and in order to post bail and have someone released from jail, you must post 10% of the amount listed with either the court or the jail.
    On a Measure 11, there is a mandatory minimum bail of $50,000 which means a defendant has to post at least $5,000 bail to get out of custody. Your arraignment is not a time to argue the facts of your case but is a time at which you or an attorney acting on your behalf can make a case as to why bail should be set lower. This is best done after careful planning. On most misdemeanors and less serious felonies, bail is set at lower levels or a person is released on their own recognizance. If bail is set to high and you have an attorney, you can have a bail hearing to have that initial amount lowered. On most DUII arrests, the officer will make a decision to put a person into detox instead of jail. You cannot bail out of detox but they must release anyone whose BAC falls below a certain level.
  4. If you are a charged with a felony, your name will be listed in the Medford Mail Tribune or local newspaper the following day.
    And your picture will certainly be on Medford Mugshots whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony. If you know that you are under investigation for something and may be arrested, now is a good time to go ahead and retain an attorney. I have arranged for a number of peaceful turn-ins or citations instead of arrests when clients have made themselves available for law enforcement. It also helps achieve minimum bail once someone goes to court. And, don't forget, law enforcement is already investigating your case and coming up with a plan. You need someone doing the same things for your side or else you will be at a disadvantage by the time trial or negotiations roll around.
  5. You should plead not guilty at your arraignment in order to get discovery, speak with an attorney, and see what defenses are available regardless of your guilt or innocence to the crime.
    Arraignment is a part of criminal procedure wherein someone is advised of a crime. If your proverbial goose is cooked, you can always come back later and change your plea once you see if the evidence was obtained constitutionally, if the witnesses are available and if there might be gaps in the investigation done by the State.
    Plea negotiations should be a negotiation, not simply declaring that you give up at the first appearance. Think about major media cases involving clearly guilty parties who had attorneys, they still all plead not guilty at first and many came out with better results than the mandatory minimums they were facing.

If you have been arrested for a crime, then please don't hesitate to contact my firm immediately! I offer a free intial case evaluation for those who want to discuss their options.