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Understanding the Arrest Process

The beginning of a criminal case starts at the arrest. The details of this event will be important and will be scrutinized if the case moves further along in the process. If the case eventually goes to trial than each aspect of the arrest will likely be looked over.

In order for an officer to make an arrest, probably cause must exist. This means that there is a reason for the citizen being taken into custody. Officers cannot arrest at will and they need to be able to provide a reason for their actions. The arrest can be done through the use of an arrest warrant which will need to be obtained by a judge. The judge will also need to be given enough reason if they are going to provide the warrant. Many times, an officer does not have the time to go and get a warrant and instead they need to make a fast decision. If they make the arrest based on their own judgment, they will need to be able to prove later on that there was reason to do so.

When a citizen is taken into custody, legally they will need to be read their rights. The Miranda Warning should be given by the officer and it includes the following:

  • Right to remain silent and not answer questions.
  • What a suspect says at this time can be held against them in a court of law.
  • Right to consult an attorney prior to speaking with officers.
  • If a suspect cannot afford an attorney then one will be appointed.
  • They can choose to stop answering questions at any time.
  • Understanding their rights, they will be asked if they are willing to answer questions.

Next, the case can go three ways. The suspect can post bail if it is being offered and they will need to return on the court date. They may not have the option of bail and will need to remain in court. The charge may be dropped due to a number of reasons and the suspect will then be released. If you have been arrested, contact a San Bernardino criminal defense lawyer immediately.