You've Been Arrested, Now What?

I’ve been arrested, now what?

Being arrested is a traumatic experience, even more so when you don’t know what to do or what to expect. Most people feel completely powerless and violated by the experience. It is important to know that you can regain control of the situation by being proactive and hiring a qualified criminal defense lawyer to help guide you through the process.

Arrested vs. Summonsed

Sometimes if the alleged crime committed is a low-level offense, you might just be released by the police and then summonsed to court later, instead of being arrested and booked into custody.  If you are arrested and booked, you have to be brought to court as soon as possible to be arraigned. 

Miranda warnings

Whenever the police make an arrest, they must inform you of your Miranda rights, or else the prosecution may not later be able to introduce your statements as evidence against you.  These rights you must be notified of include your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. If the police do not inform you of your rights, that does not mean your case will be thrown out or the arrest was illegal. Miranda rights are related to the admissibility at trial of your statements made while in custody.

Whether you are told your Miranda rights or not, DO NOT SPEAK TO THE POLICE. Do not answer questions, do not offer information, do not try to explain anything. Nothing. At all. Simply respond, “I wish to speak with a lawyer and do not wish to answer any questions. 

Arrested and booked into custody

If you are arrested and booked into custody, it is important to remember to invoke your right to remain silent and not make any statements through the entire process. The police are there to gather evidence against you and they can legally lie to you to get information out of you. Ultimately, whether criminal charges are filed is a decision which rests solely with the prosecution and not law enforcement. If you are allowed to make a phone call, during the call do not discuss the allegations made against you and what may or may not have occurred. These phone calls are recorded, and any statements you make about your case on these calls can be used against you.


Once you are arrested and booked into lockup, depending upon what day of the week it is and the time of day, you may have the option of posting bail and being released from custody pending the first court date should charges be filed against you. There are

some charges so serious you will not be able to bail out no matter how much money you have to put down toward your release from custody. You also have the option of staying in custody until your first court appearance (arraignment), where your bail could be reduced, or even increased, by a judge.

Staying in custody

If you cannot afford to bail out, or you are placed on “no bail” status, you will have to remain in custody pending the resolution of your case. In Massachusetts, anyone that is held in custody must be arraigned as soon after arrest as is reasonably possible. 


The arraignment is the first criminal court appearance after charges have been filed. The defendant is advised of the charges filed against them, their rights, and a plea of either guilty or not guilty will be entered. A judge will also be considering bail conditions at the arraignment. The Court will appoint counsel for the accused if they have not hired a lawyer yet, for the purposes of the arraignment. Counsel will be appointed to represent the defendant for the whole case if they  qualify financially for court appointed representation.

Ernest Stone has almost three decades of experience successfully defending good people in Massachusetts.

If you or a loved one is facing the possibility of arrest and being charged with a crime in Massachusetts, having a highly knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney by your side is important. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Being accused is traumatic. We understand. We will get you through the storm.

Schedule a free case review online or by calling (978) 705-4537.

Contact us today to get a free consultation

Contact our team today for a free consultation. Contact us through our website or call (978) 705 4537.

We are available 24/7. We can help you through this storm.