Being arrested can be an intimidating and frightening process, especially if you are unfamiliar with the legal system and how it operates. For this reason, the following is information on what you should expect from the process of an arrest, and the steps you can take to ensure you minimize the harm done. To learn more call and schedule a consultation with a Manassas criminal lawyer today.
A person is arrested when they are taken into police custody, and in most cases, told that they are under arrest. However, a person can be arrested without being told that they are under arrest if they are placed in handcuffs and taken in a police vehicle to the station house. An arrest can even occur at a place like a hospital, in cases where a person may have been in an accident elsewhere. In such cases, the police tell them that they are under arrest and then do something to inhibit their freedom such as tell them that they cannot leave or handcuff them to the hospital bed.
Once the actual arrest has occurred, the arrested individual will be taken to a police station or the adult detention center, where he will be brought before a magistrate judge. This may happen in person or many over a video monitor. At this time, the officer will often give the evidence he may have before the magistrate judge and request the issuance of warrants for the accused.
The magistrate judge will then make a decision about issuing a warrant and make an initial determination about bail. If the individual is admitted to bail by the magistrate judge then they will go through a booking process, where they may be fingerprinted and then released, either on their own recognizance or after having posted a bond.
If there is a denial of bail, the individual will then wait to be brought before a General District Court judge the next time the General District Court sits to hear such cases. At this time, the General District Court judge will advise the individual of their right to counsel and may set a date when a bond hearing might be had.
There are a number of ways in which you can get in contact with a lawyer if you are arrested. The most common way individuals do so when they are held in jail is by reaching out to family members who then get in contact with attorneys. Often, the people who are first available to speak to an accused in jail are family members, either by phone or by an in-person visit. The family members then secure counsel who can visit the accused in jail.
At some jails, it is possible for an individual to call an attorney’s office directly. Reaching an attorney this way is often made difficult, however, because of the many safeguards and procedural steps in place.
Once you are released, you can find your own attorney online and contact them or their office directly.
Speaking with the police is one of the main mistakes to avoid during the arrest process. The main purpose of police questioning during an arrest for misdemeanor or felony charges is to elicit incriminating information. During an arrest, if you are being questioned, it is important to calmly but firmly let the police know that you are exercising your right to remain silent.
Another mistake that people make during the arrest process is acting belligerently towards the police, resisting arrest, or talking back to the police. While it may in fact be the case that you are innocent and that you are being unjustly arrested, you are not going to be able to address that issue during your arrest. Acting in a belligerent manner or resisting the police will only cause trouble for the resisting individual, such as getting additional charges or, at the very minimum, making any plea discussions difficult when it comes to trial. It is important to remember that anything that is unfair about the arrest process can be addressed down the road and not during the process of the arrest.
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