Your Rights if Confronted by Police

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution (and the Alaska counterpart) provides every Alaskan with the right to remain silent when being questioned by police. Our schools and colleges teach us we have that right, but not how to exercise it. The time to exercise it is when you are confronted by a police officer anywhere.

Remember, the police are not social workers, nor are they necessarily interested in "truth" or "justice". Often, they simply want to close a case by making an arrest. You may be that person arrested.

Understanding the Right to Remain Silent

Never lie, or make up a "story" when confronted by the police. Simply exercise your right to remain silent. Always ask to call a lawyer or relative immediately upon being taken into custody. For most criminal charges, you will be released after a short while by posting a reasonable bail amount, or buying a bail bond.

Upon release from jail, seek a lawyer's advice. Remember, anything you tell a lawyer about the pending criminal charge is confidential and the lawyer can't be called to testify. But, friends, relatives, physicians, counselors and even spouses or sweethearts can be subpoenaed to testify in certain circumstances and cases.

For some criminal charges, the accused person isn't immediately released due to higher bail amount requirements or the requirement of a "third-party custodian", who is, in effect, an adult babysitter — some person, or persons, who stay with the accused person 24 hours, seven days per week until the charge is dispositioned. A lawyer can often assist get a proposed third-party custodian approved, or some alternative condition of release approved.

Remember, if you're in jail, with a job, spouse, kids and bills to pay, it's important to get out of jail as soon as legally possible. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Dan Allan & Associates realize this and do their utmost to free their clients at the earliest legal opportunity. To speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney, call our office in the Dimond Center in Anchorage at 907-344-8851 or contact us online. We serve clients throughout Alaska.

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