Getting arrested can be a frightening experience. Hopefully, this experience never happens to you, but it is good to know what to expect if it does.
You May Be Taken to the Police Station
If the police suspect you have committed a crime, they may take you to the police station to be questioned. You have a right to refuse to answer questions without an attorney present. At this point, the police may either release you or arrest you. If you are arrested, you have the right to tell someone you have been arrested and make arrangements for release, such as contacting a bail bonds Berks County PA service.
You Should Be Made Aware of Your Miranda Rights
Before questioning you, the police are required to make you aware of your Fifth Amendment rights. These rights are known as your Miranda Rights:
- Right to remain silent and refuse to answer questions
- Anything you say can be used against you
- Right to consult an attorney before talking to the police and have an attorney present during questioning
- Right to have an attorney appointed to you by the court if you can not afford an attorney
- Right to stop answering questions until you talk to an attorney
You May Be Arrested and Booked
The police may frisk you when they first stop you to check for concealed weapons. If you are arrested, the police may search your person and surroundings for stolen items, contraband, evidence of a crime or weapons. They may also search your vehicle. The police may take any personal property you have on you when arrested, but they are required to make an inventory and have you sign it. After you are arrested, you will be booked and may be asked to participate in a line-up or submit a handwriting sample.
The Prosecutor Will Decide What Charges To File
After you are booked, your case will be sent to the prosecutor’s office. Depending on the state, the prosecutor will have 48 to 72 hours to decide what, if any, charges to file against you. However, the charges can be changed later when more evidence is obtained.
You Will Be Arraigned
At your arraignment, the judge will read the charges against you in court and you will enter either a guilty, not guilty or no contest plea. If you plead not guilty, your case will go to trial.
Knowing what to expect ahead of time can help you remain calm when you are arrested. Have a plan in place to protect your rights.