2 things to do when you’ve been arrested!

Sammy, get well soon.

I know you come here for my hard-hitting, behind the scenes insight into the criminal justice system.  You like the fact that I say things other people won’t.  You want to know how to avoid getting arrested, and I give you the blueprint.  You want to know what happens if the police do pull you over, and I break it down.  I’ve babbled on enough about what to do when the police pull you over, and even if they’re talking to you in an “investigation” room.  Today we move on to the next step: after they’ve arrested you.

Like most people who choose to help the accused, I’m a guy who likes a plan.  I think it’s fair to say that nearly all of us who do this have thought about what we’d do if we were ever arrested.  I’m not necessarily talking about things like who to call for bond money- although I’ve definitely got a mental short list for that.  I’m talking about small, amusing things.  Like, I once saw somebody sign a bond slip with “Dear Sammy, Get well soon.”  I had no idea what that meant, until I realized it was a quote from the movie stripes:

  • 00:16:29 All right, now if you’ll just give Uncle Sam your autograph here.
  • 00:16:34 “Sammy, get well soon.”

That was, clearly, something pre-planned.  Had nothing to do with the case, or the law.  Funny beyond belief, though.

Not enough people get arrested with a plan.  Nowhere is this more obvious than looking through booking photos.  I appreciate that your booking photo will be taken on the worst day of your life, when you are at your most humanly low.  You might be drunk.  Maybe you were even roughed up a little.

Ever notice how a lot of people seem to look guilty in their mug shots?  That picture could end up in the police report, the newspaper, or even on Google Plus.  For the love of the 5th Amendment and all things great, pull yourself together and make it a glamour shot.   Think that’s a bad idea?  Which one of these two is charged with really nasty felonies?

The answer, of course, is both of them. If one had to go to prison, and the other could get probation, which one would get locked up?  As a criminal defense attorney I hate the fact that snap judgments are made based on appearances, but I would absolutely use that to my advantage.  As can you.

I’m serious about this.  Know what the lady above is charged with? Armed Robbery, Burglary, and Kidnapping.  Kidnapping! Does she look like a kidnapper to you?

With that, I offer the following two tips for your post-arrest processing:

1. Take a comb if you are able (some people know the police are out to find them, as I suspect the woman above did).

2. Smile.

Author: matthaiduk

Matt Haiduk is a criminal defense lawyer in Illinois. He loves his dog. And pizza.

3 thoughts on “2 things to do when you’ve been arrested!”

  1. Last time I woke up to a nightmare of a fat male cop kissing me it was just as I recalled to phone Haiduk. Whew. Next time that happens hopefully I’ll have a baseball bat and some hair gel.

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