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Eden @Eden

Weird question, and not relevant to me today, but.

If I got arrested, and I didn't hire a lawyer beforehand, how do you do the "I wanna talk to my lawyer"?
Do they just let you take some time and go find one..?

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Slightly gratified that people are boosting this so it means it wasn't just me who didn't know this :')

@Eden no answer to your question, but yeah, to me it appears to be a privilege from high class to just "have a lawyer".

I mean, I don't even know what you're supposed to do with a lawyer if not for defending yourself from being arrested

@soza I've heard rumour they're good for taxes, but yeah I have no idea.

@Eden 🤦‍♀️ omg seriously. You have the money to afford a lawyer and you still care about your taxes...

@soza @Eden (a) inorite? (b) business owners often have a business lawyer for reviewing/drafting contracts, avoiding liability, etc.

@wilbr @soza Yeah, I've met our company lawyer. He mostly chats GDPR and contracts, I think @soza was mostly talking about personal lawyers?

@soza @Eden for sure, that's just what I think of when a doctor or trust fund kid says such things 😂 (seems like an empty threat anyway)

@Eden What jurisdiction are you in?
Apparently the "one phone call" is a US TV myth.
In the UK you are entitled to a lawyer, so they'll ask you who you want. If you've not already got one lined up, you will get the "duty solicitor". Either way, it's unlikely that you will see your solicitor until the next day at court, for a rushed chat before you go before the bench.

@priryo I'm in the UK, so I'll get to 'pick' one effectively, but not able to research it etc?

@Eden Dunno. If they're feeling nice you might get a list to choose from. If you're nicked at a well-organised demo you call the number on the bust card that you wrote on your arm with marker pen. :)
You can always change solicitors after, so the right-then thing to do is make sure they get you out on bail after court (probably not a problem) and say "no comment" to *absolutely everything* the police ask that isn't to confirm your name & address.

@Eden @priryo
I have a memory of reading that when David Miranda (not a UK citizen) was detained (in UK), and refused a lawyer (of his choice, at least initially), he was given a list of "acceptable choices" for representation (which were refused). But it was a long time ago, I may not remember that correctly.

@gumcap @Eden
Could be. The complication there is that he was at the border, so fewer rights apply. And I think he was detained under a "terrorism" power, which might account for the short list of approved lawyers.

@priryo @Eden
Very true. Just saying, that even though this was a special case (at the border, and as you say "terrorism") he was still presented with a list of potential representation. Seems unlikely that one would be left hanging completely under more common circumstances.

@Eden Also, UK is not one jurisdiction. England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland all differ slightly. But still - No Comment.


They have to provide you one I think

@Eden The police station will have a duty solicitor on call if you don’t have someone’s number already. (This is why protestors are advised write the number of a protest law specialist on their body - and why they often hand out bust cards with recommended numbers.) You don’t need to have hired them in advance even if they’re your own choice.

@ghost_bird This makes a lot of sense. So you should basically research a generic one before you think you might get arrested?

@Eden If it’s protest or direct action then look up Green & Black Cross for recommendations - or the organisers may have suggestions on their web site/social media.

@Eden (Duty solicitors will be criminal law specialists - not to be relied on for anything else. And you probably already know this, but _never_ tell the police anything except “no comment”, no matter what they tell you.)

@ghost_bird Without sounding childish, I don't think I'd be able to do that without practicing?

Like I get anxious just public speaking. Someone intentionally trying to force me to say something? They'd probably win eventually.
Are there classes? Is this a real thing?

@Eden G&BC do legal observer training - I think they do “what to do if you’re arrested” workshops too? Or maybe roleplay with a friend, if that would help. Is this Extinction Rebellion? If so, I’d hope they’d provide advice before asking anyone to get arrested for the Cause.

Also, the attention disparity between a duty solicitor or court appointed attorney (for a trial) is one of many factors exacerbating the criminalization of being poor in the US. Unless you're paying out of pocket for a criminal attorney, you will be pressured to accept a plea deal. These deals, while having no immediate consequence, establish a record that can result in you being targeted by police and facing mandatory minimum sentencing later

@AceNovo This is the UK, so plea deals aren’t a thing and mandatory minimum sentencing is less common. The basic principle still holds, though.

when you may need a lawyer Show more

@Eden Probably depends on the country or maybe city law. In Holland you will have a lawyer assigned to you if you don't have one yet. In Dutch that is called "Piket advocaat". People who go to demonstrations to protest and foresee that there is some chance to get arrested, sometimes do arrange their own lawyer, as that is usually better and more comfortable choice than having the pre-arranged by the cops ones.

I need to learn this as well. Even interacting with the police in general. Been approached by police twice since I moved to Italy for no reason. I'm so clueless.

@Eden as I understand it that's what your one phone call is meant to allow you to set up.

@Eden There links and more details here. Much of this applies in the EU as well (as I've heard of strip searches at border crossings).