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What Should I Do If I've Been Arrested in Illinois or DuPage County?

Posted by Dominick R. Dolci | May 19, 2013 | 0 Comments

In an Illinois or DuPage County arrest, a police officer, state trooper, or sheriff restrains your freedom of movement because they suspect your involvement in a criminal offense. From that point forward, the arresting officer may take you into custody or you may be stopped -- verbally or physically -- for questioning about a suspected crime.

If you find yourself in such a situation, the choices you make may be pivotal to your immediate future.

First and foremost, at the time of your arrest, the arresting officers should inform you they have a warrant and produce the warrant for your review. If they have criminally charged you, you should ask the nature of the criminal charges. Furthermore, you should be aware of the points we will discuss below, because making smart decisions and being aware of your rights can make an instrumental difference to your freedom and innocence.  

3 Things You Should Remember While Being Arrested

  1. Confirm your Identity

    If you have been arrested, it is imperative to truthfully answer all questions about your identification. This can include your name, address, and date of birth. While you have the right to refrain from answering self-incriminating questions, lying will oftentimes worsen an already difficult situation.

  2. Don't Give the Officers a Hard Time

    While it's important to avoid self-incrimination and to exercise your Fifth Amendment rights, maintaining a civil relationship with law enforcement officers is essential if you want to avoid a tough time. Giving officers a hard time during the arrest process is never beneficial and will often create a hostile environment which will only hurt your case. Additionally, it's important to note that although you have rights, you are in a precarious position while in police custody, because you are at the mercy of the officers. There have been instances where officers make decisions which violate an arrestee's rights, and the arrestee finds that there is little they can do about it. In such a situation, it will not be until later, once you've contacted a criminal defense attorney or have stepped up in front of a Judge, that any violation of your rights will make the slightest bit of difference to your case.

  3. Don't Self-Incriminate

    Don't argue or be hostile, but don't answer any questions without your criminal defense attorney present; simply explain that you will be more than happy to answer any questions once your attorney is present. This is EXTREMELY important, as anything you say can and will be used against you in court.

What Should I Do If I've Been Arrested In Illinois or DuPage County? 

You cannot say “I think I should have a criminal lawyer present” or “do I need a criminal lawyer, I think that would be best;” you must clearly state in the affirmative: “I want a criminal defense attorney present before I answer any questions”. Now, any and all questioning must stop. People often think if they just answer questions and tell their side then everything will be explained and the police will understand that there has been a mistake. This is almost always not the case. Unfortunately police often feel very strongly that they have the right person and that anything you say is a lie or they are just waiting for you to say even the littlest thing to support their theory of the case.

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Without your consent or extraordinary circumstances, the police cannot arrest you in your home without a warrant. The police can arrest you without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe that you committed an offense in their presence, or when an individual informs an officer that you have just allegedly committed a criminal offense.

Arrested for a Misdemeanor

You can be arrested for committing a misdemeanor, which is a lesser crime. Some examples of misdemeanor criminal charges are:

  • Criminal damage to property
  • Indecent exposure
  • Theft
  • Retail Theft
  • Resisting arrest
  • Stalking
  • Deceptive practice

In addition, a citizen, such as a security guard or store owner, may detain you if you have committed, for example, the offense of retail theft, in their presence. In this instance, they must promptly turn you over to the police.

Arrested for an Illinois Felony or Misdemeanor? Contact DuPage County Criminal Defense Attorneys

If you are arrested for an Illinois felony or misdemeanor criminal charge without a warrant, you are entitled to a prompt hearing (preliminary hearing) to determine whether or not the arresting officer had probable cause (the minimum level of required evidence) to arrest you. However, you may not have an opportunity for a preliminary hearing, where your criminal attorney can cross-examine the arresting officer and challenge the State's evidence. The State is allowed to avoid a preliminary hearing by submitting evidence, in secret, to a grand jury which will return a bill of indictment against you.

About the Author

Dominick R. Dolci

Managing Partner Dominick R. Dolci focuses his practice on criminal defense litigation and civil litigation. Dom graduated from John Marshall law school in 1990. He began his legal training in the Cook County States Attorneys Office where he worked at 26th and California. He then transferred ...

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