What to do if You’ve Been Wrongfully Arrested

Posted on April 6th, 2020 by Danielle Giannola

We’ve all heard horror stories about innocent people serving years and years in prison for crimes they didn’t commit. A fortunate few are eventually exonerated and released, but many innocent people remain in prisons all across the United States for crimes they did not commit. If this has happened to you or a loved one, please contact one of our criminal defense attorneys in Cook County, Illinois today to set up a free consultation to discuss your case.

Unfortunately, innocent people are charged with crimes they didn’t commit every day. And, believe it or not, it could even happen to you. That’s why it’s important to be prepared and know how to handle a wrongful arrest. If you find yourself being wrongly arrested, remember these two simple steps:

  1. Tell the police that you want a lawyer.
  2. Do not speak to the police until your lawyer arrives and you have a chance to speak with him/her.

Like we discussed in a previous blog post, we all have Miranda rights that kick in as soon as we’re arrested and the police start asking us questions. An invocation of your Miranda rights must be unequivocal; meaning that you must clearly and firmly state that you would want to end your interaction with police and speak with your attorney. Consider the following real-life interaction which took place between criminal defendant and police:

Criminal Defense Lawyer

In this scenario, the defendant requested an attorney twice, however, because the request was not clear and firm, police were not violating the defendant’s rights by continuing the interrogation. An invocation of any of your Miranda rights must be clear and firm. Included in our Miranda rights are the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. As soon as you ask to talk to a lawyer, the police must stop all questioning until you have the chance to consult with your lawyer.

It’s tempting to think that if you’re innocent, you have nothing to fear from speaking to and cooperating with the police. After all, you didn’t do it and the police are there to find the person who did. However, even if you’re totally innocent and just trying to help, the police can (and will) use anything you say against you. If the police have arrested you, it means that they’re pretty sure you’re guilty. It’s unlikely that anything you say will convince the police they have the wrong person. Anything you say will probably make your situation worse.

That’s why it’s so important to ask for a lawyer and then remain silent – your lawyer can help protect you and make sure you don’t get railroaded into a false confession by the police. Remember, having an experienced lawyer like Giannola Legal LLC’s criminal defense attorneys in Cook County, Illinois, and the surrounding counties, by your side might mean the difference between being wrongfully arrested or being wrongfully convicted.

Back to News