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  • Ann Sheeley

What to Do If You're Arrested on St. Patrick's Day

When it comes to St. Patrick’s Day, our smallest state has some of the biggest shenanigans! For many, this boozy tradition where “everybody’s Irish” consists of parades, pubs, and gaiety. Unfortunately, large crowds of spirited folks drinking green beer often leads to unruly patrons committing illegal acts like public intoxication, drunk or drugged driving and disorderly conduct.


Being arrested can be a stressful and intimidating experience. In this blog, Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney Ann Sheeley offers guidance on what to do if you find yourself in this unlucky situation. As always, we are available 24/7 for a free consultation. 

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  1. Remain Calm and Cooperative: It is in your best interest to remain composed, respectful, and cooperative when dealing with law enforcement, even if you disagree with the circumstances of your arrest. Avoid escalating the situation by arguing, resisting arrest, or attempting to flee. Do not lie or give false information/documents and keep your hands where the police can see them. Remember, your behavior and conduct can be used as evidence against you and lead to additional charges.

  2. Consult an Attorney: As soon as possible, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Rhode Island, such as Sheeley Law. Your lawyer will guide you through the legal process, protect your rights, and work hard to achieve the best possible results for your case.

  3. Avoid Incriminating Yourself: You know the saying, “anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law.” In most situations, it’s best to refrain from providing unnecessary information or explanations to law enforcement until you have consulted with your attorney. For example, you do not have to answer any questions about where you were going, where you were traveling from, and whom you were with. To avoid incriminating yourself, politely assert your right to remain silent until you have spoken to your attorney.

  4. Understand All Your Rights: In addition to your right to remain silent, there are several other laws in Rhode Island that serve to protect individuals. For example, law enforcement officers may ask for your consent to search your person, vehicle, or belongings. Under Rhode Island law § 31-21.2-5, “No operator or owner-passenger of a motor vehicle shall be requested to consent to a search by a law enforcement officer of his or her motor vehicle, that is stopped solely for a traffic violation, unless there exists reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity. No pedestrian shall be requested to consent to a search by a law enforcement officer of his or her person, unless there exists reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity.” You have the right to refuse consent to a search, and it's generally advisable to do so unless presented with probable cause or a valid search warrant.

  5. Prepare for What Comes Next: After your arrest, you will likely be scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment, where you will be formally informed of the charges against you and given the opportunity to enter a plea. It's important to attend all court proceedings as scheduled and to comply with any conditions of bail or release. Your attorney will work with you to prepare a defense strategy and advocate on your behalf in court. It is strongly advised that you seek the legal counsel of a skilled local criminal defense attorney, like Ann Sheeley, to help you navigate the legal system, protect your rights, and develop a strategy to minimize your punishment.  

In conclusion, being arrested can be a stressful experience but it's important to remember that you have rights and options. With the proper guidance and attorney by your side, you can navigate through your legal troubles and move forward with your life.

From all of us at Sheeley Law, we want you to have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day. If an incident does occur, Sheeley Law is here for you. Attorney Ann Sheeley is available 24/7 by calling 401-619-5555 or emailing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and Erin go Bragh!










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