If you have been arrested for an off-campus crime, you need to be very careful about everything you say and do. The information you should provide to the police is your name, date of birth, and Social Security number, if asked. In response to any additional questions, politely and calmly tell the police officer that you do not wish to answer any further questions without your attorney. Any other answers may incriminate you directly or indirectly, and any inaccurate answers may result in your being charged with providing false information to the police or may be considered evidence of your guilt for not telling the truth.
You may have defenses available, but you will need to make smart decisions to preserve your ability to assert these defenses in court.
7 Steps to Take After Being Arrested Off-Campus in New Jersey
Here are seven steps to take after being arrested for an off-campus crime in New Jersey:
1. Stay Calm
After being charged with a crime, it is important to remain calm. You are facing a serious situation, but allowing yourself to get overwhelmed will only make matters worse. Take a deep breath, collect your thoughts, and make sure you know what you need to do next.
2. Stay Off of Social Media
At this point, you should stay off of social media. You should not post anything about your arrest, and you do not want to inadvertently post something that the prosecutor’s office may be able to use against you.
3. Avoid Discussing Your Case with Anyone
In addition to staying off of social media, you should avoid discussing your case in person as well. This means not discussing it with your roommates, not discussing it with your boyfriend or girlfriend, and not discussing it with anyone else who may be facing charges.
4. Review Your Summons
When you got arrested, you should have received a summons (unless you were taken directly into custody). Review your summons carefully. Make sure you know what charge (or charges) you are facing, and make sure you know when you need to be in court for your arraignment.
5. Write Down Everything You Can Remember About Your Arrest
As soon as possible, you should write down everything you can remember about your arrest. No detail is too small or insignificant. This includes what you were doing when the police approached you, what the police said and did during your arrest, and anything else you can recall about the series of events.
6. Learn What Comes Next
The criminal justice process moves swiftly after an arrest, and it is important that you know what comes next. For an overview of the process, you can read our summary of after arrest legal procedures in New Jersey.
7. Contact a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Promptly
As a college student, the unfortunate reality is that you have a lot on the line. Not only could a conviction result in fines and jail time, but it could also lead to academic discipline, and having a criminal record will make it much more difficult to find a job. As a result, you need to take your case very seriously, and you should consult with a New Jersey criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Speak with a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney in Confidence
If you need to speak with a New Jersey criminal defense attorney, you can contact us 24/7 to arrange an initial consultation. To schedule an appointment at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A., call 877-435-6371 or tell us about your case online.
Over 20 attorneys at HCK have extensive criminal defense experience as they were former assistant prosecutors and/or police officers for a combined total of over 600 years of law enforcement experience. You can find out more about them on our website, and you can call Managing Partner Ron Helmer on his cell phone at 609 685-0665.