Leonard E. Milligan: The sooner you involve a lawyer, the better equipped you are, not only to protect your rights, but actually to limit your liability going forward.
Rachel M. Self: The first initial phone call is so important and you’re given that opportunity once. And it’s very important for you to reach out to an attorney first, as opposed to Mom, or Dad, or a friend at the frat house.
Leonard: The other important thing to remember when you’re speaking to family, whether it’s before or after, is that you’re making them a witness. Not only are you putting them in a position where they can be compelled to testify to what heard against someone they care about, but your conversation can in fact be recorded by the police.
John R. Grasso: You have a right to contact an attorney. You don’t have a right to speak with your mom. You don’t have a right to call your spouse. But you have a right to speak to an attorney. And if you can actually speak to that attorney, then that attorney has the ability to contact your universe.
Rachel: So it’s very important, with that first opportunity that you have, that you reach out to a lawyer who can then guide you through that process and protect your interests fully.
Christopher B. Coughlin: Even if you invoke your right to an attorney, the police are going to say, all right, fine, who do you want to call? Most people don’t have an answer to that question.
Leonard: If you really evaluate the whole “one call” right in Massachusetts, you’ll understand very quickly that it’s really meaningless unless you have a plan in place, before you’re arrested to make that call.
Rachel: A lot of times, people get arrested, they’re terrified, they’ve never been in the criminal justice system before, and they don’t know what to do. And to just have a phone number, and be able to speak with someone, and have them guide you, even just a little bit, through that initial fearful process, I think is going to be wonderful for people.
John: If you have the opportunity to have an attorney present, when you’re under arrest, you take advantage of that opportunity.
Leonard: So there’s just no question, making the phone call alerts you of those rights, alerts the police that they can no longer pursue that information, and finally, it gives you the peace of mind in knowing that what you told the police is something you were entitled to. And it often gives you the sort of calmness to stay and wait for help to arrive.