What You Should Know About Arrests
The arrest procedure is scary for most. Unfortunately, it is too common an occurrence. However, when is an arrest not mandatory? An arrest procedure is typically made by a person of authority, like law enforcement. An arrest can take place because there is a warrant for a person’s arrest, or certain circumstances give law enforcement incentive to start an arrest procedure.
It is important for a person going through an arrest procedure to be mindful of what they say during the process. As the Miranda Rights state, “anything that you say can and will be used in a court of law”. Remaining calm and keeping a polite attitude are key during the arrest procedure.
What is the arrest procedure?
An arrest procedure begins when a law enforcement officer uses their legal authority to restrict a suspect’s freedom. The arresting officer must have probable cause for the arrest process to begin, or else have an arrest warrant issued by a judge.
There is also a citizen’s arrest procedure in the State of Georgia. This arrest procedure was established over 150 years ago with the goal of providing the citizens of Georgia greater protection when communication methods and travel distances inhibited law enforcement from being present.
Law-abiding citizens were allowed to intercede and arrest or detain a suspect until they could be presented to the courts and justice served. While this law is still valid in Georgia, there have been many changes over the years. The laws for a citizen arrest procedure are under scrutiny and the proponents of citizen arrest are defended vigorously.
What is an arrest and when does it occur?
The arrest procedure occurs is protected by the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and occurs when law enforcement officers take a person suspected of a crime into custody. Once that suspect is unable to walk away freely from that arresting officer, they are under arrest and advised that this is the case at that time.
An arrest procedure is only supported by the 4th Amendment when law enforcement has probable cause, meaning they have reason to believe a crime has been committed by the suspect. The courts and legislatures have picked up from where many believe the Fourth Amendment stops and have developed further rules including when and why an arrest procedure can take place.
What do they say when they arrest you?
Any law enforcement starting the arrest procedure and detaining a subject must provide the individual their “Miranda Rights” before they can begin any questioning. The Miranda Rights are provided to inform the person being arrested of their constitutional rights and contains the following information and statements, though not in any particular order or specific verbiage. The goal is to convey an individual’s rights in a clear and understandable manner: Information conveyed to individuals includes:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say can and will be used in a court of law.
- You have the right to an attorney during questioning.
- If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you.
What happens when you are under arrest?
Being arrested can be confusing and intimidating, which is why you want to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. They can walk you through the entire arrest up to the sentencing process and follow up to ensure your rights have been upheld and honored.
The arrest process will follow these steps:
- The Booking. After your arrest, you are taken into custody. You’ll then be fingerprinted and photographed at the police station. At this time, the police have the right to hold you waiting on bail or release you with the understanding you’ll be required to appear for your court hearing.
- The Arraignment. At this time, you will be instructed to enter a plea before a judge. The guidance of a defense attorney is valuable before you get to this point. Your plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest can be a factor in how the rest of your arrest procedure turns out.
- The Plea Bargaining: Plea bargaining is typical and allows the defendant to have the charges against them dropped or reduced. Again, having a defense attorney is helpful at this point.
- The Trial and Sentencing: If a plea bargain isn’t reached, the case will proceed to the trial phase. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge then issues sentencing.
Is resisting arrest a misdemeanor or felony?
In the State of Georgia, resisting an arrest procedure by a law enforcement officer knowingly and willfully is a misdemeanor and punishable by a year in county jail. This is in addition to any charges made due to the original arrest.
In Closing – Is an arrest without a warrant legal?
There are numerous laws that regulate the arrest procedure, and there are numerous laws regulating search and seizure. The purpose of these laws is to ensure everyone is treated fairly in any situation with an arrest procedure. An arrest is usually made by authorized law enforcement and may take place with or without a warrant. A warrant provides documentation giving law enforcement the right to arrest a specific individual. However, do note that an arrest procedure can still take place without a warrant if the arresting officer has the aforementioned probable cause. If you need legal help with an arrest procedure in Jefferson, GA, contact Double "O" Bonding by calling 706-353-6467.