What to Do When Being Arrested and Detained by Police: Knowing Your Rights 

Being stopped by police can be stressful and nerve-racking, especially if you have never found yourself in such a position before. It can be hard to know what’s right from wrong when you’re having a hard time thinking straight. Of course, you should always remain as calm and collected as possible in order to keep things straight, but if things escalate it is important to know what you can do and where your rights stand as a civilian. We’re here to help by outlining the most important things to keep in mind when being arrested by police. 

Make It Known that You Wish to Remain Silent

Although you may already be familiar with this right, it is one of the most powerful rights you have. The fact that whatever you say can be held against you in court can either make or break your case. You can have some control of the case when you decide to exercise your right of staying silent and making it known to the police. 

Ask for a Lawyer Immediately 

One thing you should make note of when being arrested is that you wish to have a lawyer appointed to you immediately. With that being said, you can hold off on speaking until you have a lawyer in your presence. A lawyer can help you understand what you should and should not do while you are being detained once they are appointed to you. 

Make a Local Phone Call

When you are being detained, you have the right to make a phone call and police officers are not allowed to listen to what you are saying while on said call. You can either use this call to contact a lawyer (if there is one in specific you want to work with) or a family member. Do not hesitate or be afraid to ask for a phone call. 

Stay Calm and Comply as Much as Possible

When being arrested, it is best to comply as much as you can in order to prevent problems from worsening. Do not lie if you wish to speak and do not attempt to run away or resist. This will only worsen the situation and they could hold more charges against you. Staying calm, as challenging as it can be, is the best thing you can do for yourself. 

If you believe your rights were violated…

The abuse of power is something that can definitely happen. In these instances, your rights were not completely respected during the arrest and detainment. Things can easily get out of hand when force is used, so if this happened to you, we highly recommend taking up the following immediately after the incident:

Make note of everything that happened

Try to recall how everything happened from the point that things got out of hand to the point where you reached the police station. It is also good to try to remember how many officers there were, what exactly they were saying, the amount of force used, patrol car numbers (if possible), etc. All of these little details are really helpful when found in these situations. It would also be good to get contact information from witnesses if you can reach out. 

Take pictures if injured 

If you have any injuries, no matter how big or small, take pictures as soon as you can. The more recent the injury is, the better piece of evidence it makes. It is also good to collect medical documents and records when seeking medical attention because they also make good pieces of evidence. You can also mention how these injuries are affecting your work and personal life and how exactly injuries happened. The case is more likely to turn in your favor when you can provide adequate proof and evidence. 

File a written complaint 

It is crucial that you do the most for yourself if you feel that your rights have been violated. Take it up to the supes, file the complaint and be very clear with why you are unhappy with your arrest. Make it known that you have rights and that you are entitled to them, no matter what your arrest was for. 

Contact The Law Office of W. Shane Jennings, Today

W. Shane Jennings specializes in criminal law, which is why our law office is your best choice. If you have recently been arrested or charged with a crime, do not wait. Contact us today so we can get started on your case right away. 

 

A lawyer meeting with a client to discuss the details of criminal defense

What to Expect After a Criminal Charge: The Immediacy of Defense

The presumption of innocence is an axiom within United States law. Although it’s not cited explicitly within our Constitution, the presumption of innocence is foundational to the Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments and for our nation’s legal system at large. This means those who are charged with crimes, from class C misdemeanors to federal felonies, are all presumed innocent.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a criminal offense, your world may feel as if it’s been flipped upside down. But it’s crucial to understand that you’re not alone. Attorney W. Shane Jennings provides criminal defense services to individuals in the Southern New Mexico region. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Don’t Go It Alone, Team Up With a Criminal Defense Lawyer

As a criminal defense office, we have dealt with cases ranging from DWI charges to aggravated assault and everything in between. We understand that the clock starts ticking as soon as you receive your criminal charge. As such, we’ve outlined what you might expect from the criminal defense journey. Remember, everyone is innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. The sooner you reach out to us, the sooner we can get to work on your defense. Our goal is to secure dismissals, acquittals, lesser charges, or deferred sentences. 

Part 1: You’re Arrested and Charged with a Criminal Offense

This is where it all begins. Typically, a police officer will arrest an individual after he/she is witnessed committing a crime. Police officers may also arrest individuals if they have probable cause that the individual committed a crime or if the officer is under authority of a valid arrest warrant. Upon completing the booking process, the arrested individual will be placed in custody. 

Your first appearance in court will be during the arraignment. If, upon your arrest, you receive a notice of arraignment, then you should contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings immediately. This way, we will be able to discuss the state’s laws as well as what you should expect from the entire process. We’ll delve a bit deeper into this process in the next step.

Bail may also be set, which the arrested individual must pay in order to be released while awaiting trial. This is not something you can simply pay to get out of; you still need to appear in court on the designated date. Bail release is built around the arrested individual’s promise to appear at every court proceeding. Bail may be granted as soon as the booking is complete or it may be granted later on during a bail hearing.  

Part 2: You Contact Our Law Office

Building a legal defense is crucial, no matter the severity of your criminal charges. This process should be initiated as quickly as possible. If your loved one has been arrested and charged with a criminal offense, you can get the ball rolling by contacting our law office as soon as possible. If you’re out on bail and you’re reading this article, then give us a call as well. Upon contacting our law office, you’ll go through an initial consultation during which we’ll go over the details pertaining to your case. If you believe our services will be beneficial to you, we will begin work on building your defense. No matter the severity of your charges, we will work diligently to find a possible solution. 

More often than not, criminal defense lawyers strive to have the entire case dismissed. If this is achieved, you won’t face a conviction. Although the case is dismissed, it will still remain on your criminal record. In order to counteract this, you’ll have to have your case expunged or sealed. If your case is not dismissed, then your criminal defense lawyer will attempt to obtain a plea, lesser charges, or a deferred sentence. This is why working with a criminal defense lawyer is crucial, especially when it comes to serious criminal charges. Since we know the intricacies of criminal law, we’re able to find solutions to the issues at hand. Simply put, we’ll take care of the hard work.

Part 3: The Trial and Sentencing

Your trial will be the event in which your presumed innocence is put into question. As a defendant, the judge and jury of your peers will find you either guilty or not guilty of the criminal charge or charges you’re facing. Here is where all our hard work will come into play. As your criminal defense attorney, W. Shane Jennings will build a defense that will cast doubt within the judge and/or jury regarding the evidence and charges presented against you, the defendant. The final decision, however, is in the hands of the judge or jury. 

As far as sentencing goes, the court will determine an appropriate punishment for the defendant. There are many details that determine a sentence. Everything from the nature and severity of the crime to the defendant’s degree of remorse will be taken into consideration. 

Contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings, Today

If you or a loved one are facing a criminal charge, don’t let another second pass by. Contact the Law Office of W. Shane Jennings today so we can get started on building your defense. We understand the immediacy of the situation at hand and we’re here to guide the way. If you have any questions about what to expect from the legal process, then reach out to us. We’re ready to help.  

two cars damaged after an accident

Help! I Got In A Car Accident with an Uninsured Driver

Every driver should drive as defensively as possible. This would be realistic in a utopia where no one gets aggravated when someone takes a second too long to start moving after the light turns green. Humans, sadly, are fallible. Perhaps you were running late and you had to drive a bit faster than usual to get to work on time. Or maybe you decided to keep checking your phone for that important email. Next thing you know, you’re in a fender bender, rollover, or anything else in between. Or let’s say you drove to work and remained completely aware of your surroundings, driving at or below the speed limit and signaling whenever you changed lanes.

Accidents Happen, Even to the Safest of Drivers

Even if you drive as safely as possible, you won’t be able to stop another individual from hitting you. Let’s say this happens and you notice your vehicle’s entire rear bumper breaks and falls off; your left rear tire is bent inwards; your headlights are decimated. Simply put, you won’t be able to drive your car any time soon. You’re dazed and a bit frazzled but you’re able to call the cops.

While you wait, you get out of your vehicle and walk over to the person who hit you and attempt to exchange information. The person who hit you is a young man in his early 20s. He has a short, unkempt beard. His hair is tied up in a messy bun, and he’s lighting up a cigarette. You think that at this present moment, you could go for a cigarette as well, but you decide to remain calm and mature.

You ask the young man for his name and insurance information. Up to this point, the situation hadn’t really sunk in yet. Sure, you experienced some shock but, being a realist, you were able to push that away and get to work, so to speak. But when the young man says he doesn’t have insurance, the damaged world you were holding up so valiantly crumbles.

For a few brief moments (which feel like an eternity in your mind) you’re unsure about how to proceed. Then the police sirens bring you back to the present moment. You look at the young man, who is now staring out the passenger window as he exhales the smoke from his cigarette, and your heart sinks a bit deeper as the words “lost cause” repeat over and over in your mind.

Remember, You’re Not Alone!

You walk back towards your half-destroyed car. A police officer comes up and asks you for your information. You provide it but you’re still in a daze. Then, you have a moment of clarity. You recall a blog you read a few weeks ago that remarked the exact situation you find yourself in now. In fact, it all feels a bit eerie. The blog described the exact accident you find yourself in, almost to a T. You take this as a sign and you call the car accident lawyer from said blog. As you explain your situation, your attorney provides a bit of guidance and you schedule a meeting to go over your car accident.

The Legal Ramifications of Driving Uninsured in New Mexico

You see, driving without insurance is illegal in the state of New Mexico (under the NMS 66-5-205 Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act, which states that “all drivers must have a means to guarantee their financial responsibility in case of accidents”). Even though this Act exists as a means to ensure that every single driver in the streets of New Mexico can be held financially responsible for accidents, many drivers still drive uninsured. Violating the Act is categorized as a misdemeanor and can lead to a $300 fine or up to 90 days of jail time in addition to suspension of the vehicle’s registration.

Where to Go Next

Let’s return to the above scenario. Once the police officers speak to the other driver, and they find out he doesn’t have insurance, the officers will immediately confiscate the driver’s license plates. The other driver will be on his own legal quandary now but that doesn’t mean you should be all alone. The other driver should be held responsible for the accident he caused. It is up to your car accident lawyer to guide this unfortunate situation as positively as possible.

Choose W. Shane Jennings as Your Car Accident Lawyer

Attorney W. Shane Jennings has worked with his fair share of car accidents cases, especially those in which one driver (or both!) was uninsured. The road ahead will be arduous but that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. With the help of a reputable car accident lawyer, you’ll be back in the driver’s seat in no time.

Give us a call or save our office’s phone number in your phone book today. You never know when you’ll need to call a lawyer; make sure you’re prepared for when the unexpected happens.