Monday, August 6, 2012


if you get arrested, here's what you do: 

First: DON'T PANIC. I know this is far easier to say than do but it is very important that you try and stay calm, cool, and collected. When you are detained or being arrested, the police will ask a lot of questions. They will inform you of the procedures surrounding your arrest. If you are not paying close attention and staying focused you will not understand what is happening which will make the process worse: more frightening, longer, and may actually hurt your case. Remember, although you have been arrested, it does not mean you are guilty of committing a crime. The officer has opined that you have broken the law, but it is not a fact or a truth. But, now is not the time to argue with the police officer.

Second: DON'T TALK. I strongly advise my clients to give the police officer only your identifying information:   your name, SS#, and DOB. Otherwise, do NOT answer the officer's questions without me or an attorney being present. You may think by cooperating with the police they will not arrest you. However, in my experience, there is only a very very small chance that you will be released. And that small chance of being released is far outweighed by the harm you do to your case by talking to the officer.

Do not tell the officer what you do for a living or your employer. If you provide this information it will be publicly displayed on the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office public access website for all to see. Local media outlets scour the arrest reports multiple times a day to see who has been arrested and if it is newsworthy. If they deem you or your arrest is newsworthy, they may print it in the local newspaper or online. Additionally, the police officer may call or notify certain employers if an employee is arrested (i.e., School Board, Military, etc.).

Third: BONDING OUT. If arrested, you will be brought to the jail and during processing, you will be told the bond amount. This is the amount of money that you must pay to be released from jail.

To bond out (i.e. be released from jail), you can pay the entire cash amount and be released from the jail. Or, you can hire a bondsman. Customarily, you will pay a bondsman 10% of the bond amount and the bondsman will pay the Jail the balance. You will never get that 10% back. The bondsman may require collateral (e.g., title to your house or your car) for the remaining bond amount. (Many bondsman no longer require collateral and just require the 10% as their fee.) Some offenses carry an automatic NO BOND status and you cannot bond out of jail until you see a Judge the next day. If you get arrested and booked into the jail before 11:59 pm, and you don't or cannot bond out, you will see the Judge the next morning on the video monitor. However, if you get booked into the jail after 12:00 am, you will not see the Judge until the following morning.  

Fourth: JAIL MONITORING.  Remember, the phones at the jail are recorded and anything you say on the phone can be used against you in Court. Additionally, your fellow jail inmates are not your friends. Do not talk about the facts of your case on the phones or with anyone at the jail.

Finally, DON'T DELAY.   The sooner you know about the legal process and the timeline for your case,t he sooner you can relax, get back into your normal routine, and feel confident your case is being professionally and expertly handled. 

Time is of the essence. If you get arrested, you should call me, Andrew Shein immediately. Each case has its own set of unique facts and circumstances which may require immediate action by me in representing you and to preserve your rights. The sooner we can discuss your case the quicker we can set in motion the game plan for showing your arrest was without legal justification or to minimize the consequences of your arrest.   

As always, you can call me ANYTIME at (813) 877-HELP (4357), text me at (813) 833-4200, email me at , or get more information about the law at    

Be well!