Being arrested for any criminal offense can be frightening, whether you are arrested for DUI, a drug offense, theft crime, sex offense, white collar crime, or any felony or misdemeanor offense. At The Justice Firm, we want to help you understand what an arrest means, what rights you have, and supply you with other pertinent information regarding questioning, hiring an attorney, and more.If Suspected of a Crime in Los Angeles or Surrounding Counties, Who Can Arrest You?
County sheriff or police officers, probation or parole officers, highway patrol officers, or even a district attorney's investigator may arrest someone when they have reasonable suspicion you have committed a criminal offense, whether the officer is on duty or off duty. Law enforcement officials are not required to have an arrest warrant as long as there is probable cause to believe an individual committed a felony offense such as burglary or home invasion. However, in order to be arrested for a misdemeanor (an offense considered less serious than a felony), the arresting officer must actually witness or see you committing the offense.What Happens When You are Arrested?
Upon your arrest, you will be taken into custody. Essentially, once arrested you are in the custody of law enforcement officials and not free to leave. In some situations an arrest warrant may be issued, as authorities generally cannot arrest an individual in his or her home except under extenuating circumstances such as evidence destruction or possible escape. A judge or magistrate will sign the warrant, however he or she must have reasonable suspicion that you have committed a crime.
An arrest does not necessarily mean you will remain in jail until the point charges are filed. When police question an individual regarding a crime and the circumstances, they may become convinced that the person has not committed a criminal offense. In this situation, the police officer will give the person a written release. Additionally, the arrest will not be recorded and will instead be considered a detention.Bail and Release From Jail
When you are arrested, the judge will set bail using a predetermined schedule set up by county; the amount of bail you are required to post before being released will depend on a number of factors, including prior convictions or failures to appear in court, the seriousness of the crime you have been charged with, and your standing in the community. All of these factors help the judge decide whether or not an individual will likely show up for scheduled court dates. In some cases, individuals may be released on their own recognizance. How much your bail is set at also hinges on the specific criminal charge you face.Your Rights When Arrested in California
Individuals who are arrested in Los Angeles and across the state have specific rights. Prior to being questioned by police or any law enforcement officer, you should be informed of your Miranda rights. These rights state that:
- You have the right to remain silent
- Anything you say may be used against you
- You have a right to have a lawyer present during questioning
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you
Under the U.S. Constitution, your Miranda Rights are guaranteed. Should a police officer fail to inform you of your rights prior to asking you questions, your attorney may request that any statements made to police not be allowed in the courtroom. It is important to note that if you volunteer information that is not asked of you by police, Miranda Rights do not apply. Additionally, the failure of police or law enforcement to inform you of your rights does not guarantee dismissal of your case.Contact The Justice Firm Now
It is not necessary to be charged with a crime before contacting a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney; in fact, it is best to consult with a skilled lawyer as soon as you have been arrested, or even when under investigation. At The Justice Firm, we will work vigorously to prevent charges being filed, or to avoid a conviction when a criminal charge is filed against you. Contact our office immediately for a free consultation at 310-914-2444.