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  • Usually you will be taken into custody when you’re arrested. The police will photograph you and take your fingerprints. When the police begin to question you, they will read you your rights.
  • Remember that you have two important rights: the right to remain silent, and the right to a lawyer. Police may not ask you any more questions if you claim either or both these basic rights. You can claim these rights at the beginning of the questioning or at any time during the questioning.
  • To be released from custody after your arrest, you must post bail. In some cases, you can do this by a signature bond (a written promise to appear in court). In other cases, you may be required to provide either a secured surety bond (you put up property, such as a car or house), or cash (which may be posted by you or someone else).
  • If you’re charged with a misdemeanor, you may not be imprisoned for more than a year. Any “time” you serve will be in the county jail or house of correction. A felony charge is much more serious, because it can mean a year or more in prison. In either case, it is very wise to consult an attorney. If you cannot afford one, the judge will appoint an attorney for you.