What should you do, immediately following an arrest for a minor drug charge in Rochester? Let’s review a checklist of things you should do, and other things you definitely should not do, following an arrest. Here goes:

1. Get a lawyer.

2. Stop talking.

Really. Okay, we’ll get to other things, but if you follow #1 and #2, you’re already ahead of the game. In movies and tv shows, suspects may talk their way out of a situation. In the real world, that doesn’t work. The second you’ve been arrested (or before then), invoke your right to counsel and then stop talking to the police.

Once you’re represented, now there is more to be done.

3. If you’re still in jail, you’ll need to figure out if you’re eligible for bail. (Criminal defense lawyers can often help, both in negotiating the amount needed for bail, as well as refer you to a reliable bail bondsman.)

4. Give your attorney all of your contact information, as well as that of any witnesses or others.

5. Consider your eligibility for a drug court diversion program. There are stiff requirements for participation—first and foremost you have to be willing to enter into a rehab program. But in Rochester, unlike other jurisdictions, you can petition for a diversion program before or after you enter a plea.

6. Notify your employer that you’re going to be absent from work: Expect that you will need to time off for meetings with your lawyer and for court hearings. Depending on the nature of your job, an employer can fire you for a conviction, but an employer cannot fire you if you’re found innocent, the charges are as a juvenile, or the conviction is sealed.

7. As needed, notify family and necessary friends of your arrest.However, do not tell anyone about the underlying facts of the case, even if they ask. If you discuss the facts with anyone other than your lawyer, you may accidentally turn that person into a witness for the prosecution or be accused of witness tampering.

8. Get a copy of your arrest record and related documents (including medical records if you’re under treatment for an addiction.)

9. Review your calendar and notify your lawyer for any possible conflicts  with court dates (from child care needs to upcoming travel)

10. Avoid contact with anyone using or selling drugs, or with any criminal history.

While the weeks and months ahead may be difficult, it is important to know that preparation and a good lawyer can make all the difference. Lead by former prosecutor Avik Ganguly, we are experts in drug criminal defense cases. We know how important—even life-changing—these cases can be, and we want you to have the best defense possible. For a free, confidential consultation, contact us through our website contact page or call us at 585-232-7747.