The Arrest Process
During an arrest, law enforcement must follow certain protocol during and after taking a suspect into custody.
Procedures may vary slightly from one jurisdiction to another, but most arrest processes involve some standard language and information gathering. If the arrest does not hold to these standards, it could lead to some evidence being thrown out in court.
Skilled criminal defense attorneys know what to look for during the arrest process. Before an arrest, charges may already be filed against you. When this happens, a judge will issue a warrant for your arrest.
An officer will then attempt to locate you and arrest you, or ‘book’ you as it’s sometimes referred to. When you are brought into custody, if the police want to ask you any questions, then you must be read the Miranda Warning:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to an attorney.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.
- Do you understand the rights I have just read to you?
The arresting officer will transport you to the police station for procedural requirements including taking your fingerprints, photos and attempting to question you. You do not have to answer questions until your attorney is present with you.
After Being Booked
Your case will land on the desk of the appropriate prosecutor’s office, where an independent decision is made whether charges should be filed. The prosecutor can change the crimes you’re being charged with if more evidence has been gathered. This process is usually done within 48 to 72 hours.
You will then appear with your lawyer for your arraignment. If you were not read the charges during your arrest, this must be the first time you’re hearing them.
The judge will ask if you plead guilty or not guilty. You may also have the opportunity to post bail and get out of jail while you await trial. Bail is like paying a deposit to the courts to ensure that you will make your future court appearances. If you make the appearances, you’ll get your money back.
Working with a Trusted Attorney
A skilled lawyer understands how the charges against you are disrupting the lives of you and your family. An attorney is there to advocate for you and negotiate the best possible outcome.
The attorneys at our firm have represented clients in criminal cases of:
- Drug charges
- Sex crimes
- Theft and fraud
- Violent crimes, including assault and battery
- White collar crimes, including embezzlement
- Weapons charges
The criminal justice system was not designed in a way for defendants to represent themselves. If you are facing criminal charges, you need an attorney you can trust to stand up and protect your rights. Call a criminal lawyer Baltimore, MD trusts today to discuss the details of your case.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into arrests and criminal charges.