Being arrested for a crime is a frightening experience for anyone. Despite being innocent, many innocent people still end up in jail which is why even everyday citizens fear an arrest.
Anytime an individual is arrested, the police must read them a Miranda warning in order to proceed with the arrest. When a person is arrested the police must inform them of their right to remain silent and their right to an attorney. Failing to take this step can destroy the prosecution’s case so be very aware of whether or not you receive a Miranda warning.
There are two main rights individuals have when it comes to an arrest:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- You also have the right to an attorney.
The worst thing you can do for yourself is speaking to the police without an attorney present. Many people fall for the trap set out by the police department by speaking to them because they feel by being helpful the police will let them leave. Unfortunately, that does not happen as often as many people believe and instead speaking to the police can lead to serious consequences.
The most important right you have is the right to an attorney. This is a Constitutionally protected right and as soon as you request an attorney the interrogation by the police must stop immediately.
Inform your criminal defense attorney as soon as possible if you believe the police have violated any of your rights. Any mistaken procedures by the police can only strengthen your case.
How an Arrest Happens
One of the first things you should find out is whether or not you have actually been arrested. A police officer may be merely questioning you without actually arresting you. If you are being questioned by the police, do not answer their questions and simply ask if you are free to leave. If you are free to leave this means the police do not have enough of a basis to arrest you. Therefore, you should refuse to continue the questioning without an attorney and leave.
In order to be arrested the officer must have probable cause to arrest you. Probable cause does not require certainty by the officer that a person committed the crime. The police must present information that shows that under the totality of the circumstances they have more than a suspicion that you committed the crime. However, unlike the prosecution the police officer that arrests you does not have to prove anything beyond a reasonable doubt.
Another way you may be arrested is if you have an arrest warrant issued for you. A judge will issue a warrant if it can be shown that there is a good cause to arrest you. With the warrant an officer can arrest you at any time and it allows a person to be arrested in their home.You do have the right to ask to see the warrant before you are arrested. However, if the police do not have the warrant they may still arrest you and then show you the warrant at a later reasonable time.
To sum up, there are three things you should be aware of during an arrest:
- Are you actually under arrest or simply being questioned? Remember if you are being questioned then immediately ask to leave and get in touch with your attorney.
- The officer does not need to prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt to arrest you, the officer only has to show that the arrest was based on more than just a hunch.
- You are entitled to see a warrant if it has been issued for you but you can still be arrested even if the police do not have the warrant on hand.
If the police have arrested you then there is a particular timeline and process that must be followed. Anyone that is being held in custody must be arraigned within 48 hours of the arrest, except it may be longer if it is a weekend or holiday. The arraignment is the first time you will appear in front of a judge. At this time, the judge will inform you of your rights and ask how you choose to plead to the charges levelled against you.
Depending on the particular circumstances, the judge may set bail allowing you to remain at home until your case has to return to court. However, in some cases if bail is refused or cannot be met then you will have to remain in custody until the trial is completed.
Seek a Free Consultation Today
If you or a family member has ben arrested, you are probably scared and unsure of what the next move forward is. Do not suffer through this hardship alone, talk to an experienced California criminal defense attorney at the Simmrin Law Group. Call 310-997-4688 or fill out the form to your right, to speak to someone as soon as possible.