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Getting arrested on New Year's Eve: Think before you speak or act

Being arrested and taken to jail: It's not how you were hoping to ring in 2017. But the reality is that many people experience unusual run-ins with the law on New Year's Eve.

What should you do if you or one of your family members was stopped, breath-tested and booked for drunk driving? What options do you have if you were charged with assault or a crime related to a domestic incident? How about an accusation related to being drunk and disorderly or damaging property? Drug possession or underage drinking? Your response to any criminal matter is extremely important.

Damage control and self-incrimination

This saying is relevant when it comes to an arrest: If you can't make things better, don't make them worse. Your focus should be on protecting yourself (or your loved one) and controlling the damage. Though you may be justifiably frustrated, never argue with or behave aggressively toward police, deputies, troopers or other arresting officers. This will always work to your disadvantage.

Why does everyone make such a big deal about using your "right to remain silent" if you are arrested? Because it's a critical Constitutional right -- you should use it. Be respectful to law enforcement officers, but don't talk about your case without speaking to a lawyer first.

It is a fact that police and other authorities will use what you say as evidence against you. Your words can be misinterpreted, even if you are completely innocent. As tempting as it might be to speak out about what you did or did not do, think carefully before you say anything.

Get strong legal representation as soon as possible

Do not try to defend yourself without seeking proper legal advice. Get the help of a lawyer who knows Texas and local laws and who understands how the courts work.

With an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, you may be able to reach a favorable outcome in your case, which will allow you to focus on your real goals for 2017.

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