What To Do If You Are Arrested In Coconino County
Know your rights!
Arrested – what now? Losing your liberty (even briefly) is one of the most stressful, uncomfortable, embarrassing, helpless, frightening, and life-altering experiences a person can go through. It impacts you, your family, your friendships, and your job. The best course of action is to be law-abiding, of course, but mistakes and misunderstandings happen. Most of us take a government class in middle or high school, but other than maybe being able to recite the three branches of government and some constitutional rights, like the right to free speech, most people do not know what their rights are when they are arrested. So here’s our guide on what to do if you are arrested in Coconino County (know your rights).
Steps To Take If You Are Arrested in Coconino County, AZ
One of the most important things to remember when you are being arrested is not to resist the arrest. Do not fight the police, as this will only make things worse for you, even if you believe you are being illegally arrested.
If it is an illegal arrest, your criminal defense attorney will fight that during pretrial motions hearings, and ultimately, your case could get thrown out so there is a remedy for an illegal arrest.
If you resist the arrest, you can end up with additional charges lodged against you, and your penalty, should you be convicted, will likely be more severe. Upon arrest, a police officer is required to give you Miranda warnings, and these are:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to have a criminal lawyer present during any questioning.
- If you cannot afford a criminal defense attorney, one will be appointed for you.
The police officer will either recite these to you and ask if you are willing to waive these rights (meaning give up these protections) and talk to them, or they will walk you through a form and have you sign off on them so they can question you.
Our advice is to always respectfully refuse to speak to the police. Many times people feel the need to fully cooperate with the police and do whatever they ask, but invoking your constitutional rights does not mean you are being uncooperative. It means you are protecting yourself to make sure you don’t say something by accident that can be used against you later. You can be polite, respectful, and cooperative while saying, “I would just feel more comfortable having a lawyer present, so, no, I do not wish to answer any questions.”
Your silence and refusal to answer the questions the police would like to ask you cannot be used against you in court at all. If you do talk to the police, however, everything you say can and will be used by the prosecution to try to convict you. This is why silence is always your best course of action.
Your next step is to hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as you can after being arrested. Do not delay, as there are important steps in the court process and rights provided to you by our U.S. and Arizona state constitutions that must be invoked (demanded in writing), or you will lose them if you do not specifically request that they protect you.
Overview Of The Different Courts In Coconino County
Every state and every county within each state has different court levels. In Coconino County, Arizona, we have the Superior Court, the Justice Courts, the Municipal Courts, and the Juvenile Courts.
The Justice Courts hear traffic cases and some criminal cases, domestic violence cases, and harassment cases and hold preliminary hearings on felonies which will be heard in the Superior Court. Ultimately, if probable cause is found, then the case then gets transferred up.
The Municipal Courts hear misdemeanor traffic criminal cases such as driving under the influence, hit-and-run, and reckless driving where no serious injuries occur. This court also issues search warrants and hears domestic violence and harassment cases.
The Superior Court hears felony and misdemeanor cases and appeals from the lower courts, which are Justice and Municipal Courts.
The Juvenile Court hears all criminal cases where someone is under 18 years of age. There are exceptions to this when a person under the age of 18 is charged with committing a highly serious crime such as rape or murder, but those are rare instances in which someone who is a juvenile can be charged and tried as an adult.
Criminal Defense in Coconino and Northern Arizona
At Antol and Sherman, PC, we have a team of criminal defense attorneys ready to fight for those charged with criminal offenses.
We have a combined total of over 60 years of criminal trial experience in Northern Arizona, so we are highly familiar with the inner workings of the court systems and laws of our state and Coconino County in particular.
We have dedicated our careers to protecting the rights of our community in Northern Arizona by providing aggressive and personalized legal services when people need it the most. Our team consists of a former Attorney General, former Supervising Coconino County Prosecutor, and former County Attorney. Having experience on the other side of the law is what sets us apart from those who have only solely worked in criminal defense.
We understand the inner workings of the prosecutor’s offices and how they build a case against those charged with crimes. We have taken that knowledge and experience to build a strong criminal defense firm to be able to provide our clients with the legal help they need and help them best protect their rights.
Need An Attorney In Coconino County, Arizona?
A quick Google search of “defense lawyers near me” or “criminal attorney near me” will likely pull up many results.
It can be hard to know which lawyer to go with because hiring a defense attorney to represent you when your liberty is at stake is a very important decision. As attorneys in Flagstaff AZ, our criminal defense attorneys at the law office of Antol and Sherman, PC have extensive experience representing a wide variety of criminal cases across Northern Arizona.
Reputation and reviews by prior clients are always helpful when trying to assess whether a defense attorney is experienced and responsive to client needs and communication. We direct potential clients to our Google My Business reviews to see what prior clients have to say about working with our lawyers in Flagstaff AZ.
If you have been arrested in Flagstaff AZ, remember you do not have to and should not go through the court system alone. Representing yourself is always a huge mistake.
There is a saying in law, “he who represents himself has a fool for a client.” This saying applies to lawyers attempting to represent themselves too, and they have the education and experience in the law that other citizens without a law degree do not have.
We are all biased when it comes to ourselves and the strength of a case against you is something you need an outside, experienced perspective on to advise you and help determine what is the best course of action for your unique circumstances. When searching for “criminal lawyers near me,” remember that the law office of Antol and Sherman, PC is ready to fight for you to get the best possible outcome for you.
Contact us to schedule a meeting with one of our criminal defense attorneys or fill out a form on our website and we will be in touch to set up a meeting with you.