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What to Do If You Get Arrested in Pennsylvania

Whenever you get arrested, you have the right to remain silent and to speak with an attorney. However, these rights only offer you protection if you use them. It’s critical that you fully understand your rights and how to proceed once you’ve been placed under arrest.

Below are some tips on what you should do and how you should act in this situation:

  • Never use force: You generally do not have the right to resist arrest. If you attempt to use force while being arrested, you could be charged with resisting arrest and assault of an officer. You could spend time in prison for what initially would not have been a serious offense.
  • Exercise your right to remain silent: If you are concerned you could incriminate yourself or that speaking would make matters worse, use your restraint and exercise your right to remain silent. Remain silent after you have invoked this right, as police officers may still attempt to ask you questions. You can provide basic information, such as your name, address and birthdate, but say nothing further until you’ve consulted a lawyer.
  • Get help: You are entitled to a phone call after an arrest and can use it to call a family member, an attorney or a bail bondsman. Remember that phone calls from a jail are often recorded and what you say could be used against you later, so do not discuss specifics of what happened over the phone.
  • Wait for help: Once you’ve secured legal counsel, do not attempt to talk your way out of jail or make any decisions without first speaking to your lawyer.

For the sound legal advice you need after being charged with a crime in Pennsylvania, work with knowledgeable Reading criminal defense lawyer David R. Eshelman.


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