Just Arrested

We understand that being arrested is stressful and unpleasant, and some of us have gone through the process. Today, I want to answer some of the most commonly asked questions that those of you who have been arrested might have. I will also share some tips as to what to do when you’re arrested, as well as what not to do when if you’re arrested. If you’ve been arrested, call Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys at H Law Group for immediate help.

What is an Arrest?

An arrest occurs when a law enforcement officer takes you into custody, this occurs when an officer takes away your freedom to leave. People who are not attorneys often believe that an arrest occurs only when an officer has taken a person to jail, but arrests usually take place much earlier. An arrest has usually taken place in the following situations:

  • An officer stops a person after seeing that person commit a crime

  • An officer has probable cause to believe that the person he stopped committed a felony, or

  • There is a warrant for a person’s arrest

  • An officer stops a person, takes them into custody, and the person is no longer free to walk away from the arresting officer.

If a police officer places you under arrest and restricts your movement, do not resist the officer even if you know that he doesn’t have the right to arrest you or the arrest is illegal. If you resist arrest, you may be charged with resisting arrest, so it’s best to remain calm and go through the process.

What Happens After An Arrest?

After you’ve been arrested the officer may search you either at the scene of the arrest or at the police station, and any contraband that is found with you will be seized. After that, arrestees are photographed and fingerprinted, and a record of the arrest is made. These records are usually searchable by the public and are often published in the local newspaper.

What Should You Do After You’ve Been Arrested?

There are a few things that every person who has been arrested should do afterward, here are the most important things you should do:

  1. Find an experienced criminal defense attorney?

    Immediately after you’re arrested, you should look for, find, and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you in court and handle your criminal case. If you’re taken into custody, just remember that you have the right to talk to an attorney.

  2. Do not talk to law enforcement

    If you’ve been arrested, do not talk to any officers or law enforcement personnel. Making even seemingly innocent statements could come back to hurt you. So, it’s best to keep silent and only speak to your attorney. Your criminal attorney will handle things with the officers and law enforcement personnel.

  3. Call a loved one or your attorney

    The first opportunity you get to use a phone, you should contact a loved one and instruct them to find you an attorney, or if you have an attorney, contact them directly and ask them for assistance. If you can’t afford an attorney, you will have to go with a public defender. At H Law Group, we offer defendants flexible payment plans because we believe that every individual is entitled to the best representation possible.

  4. Keep it on the down-low until your court appearance

    After you’ve been released from police custody and while you’re waiting to appear in court, do not do anything illegal, and stay away from situations that could lead you to get into more trouble. We know this advice is simple, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t listen to this advice.

  5. Dress appropriately for your court appearance

    When it’s time to appear in court, make sure that you wear appropriate clothing because first impressions are important and you want to give the court the best impression of yourself.

  6. Don’t settle for the first plea deal you get

    If you’ve gone to court, the prosecutor may have offered you a plea deal, you shouldn’t settle for the first deal to avoid trial unless the deal is very good. If you have an experienced criminal attorney, he may negotiate a better plea deal than the first one that’s offered to you.

To summarize, once you’ve been arrested the two most important things that you should remember are your right to remain silent (please exercise it) and your right to an attorney (ask for one). Invoking these two rights allows you to protect your legal interests from being violated by overzealous law enforcement personnel.

The Arrest Process Step by Step

  • An officer stops an individual

  • He frisks them by performing a pat-down of your outer clothing to determine whether your hiding any weapons

  • If an officer places a person under arrest, he can then conduct a full-blown search of the individual and immediate surrounding area to ensure that the person does not have any weapons or any illegal items

  • The police then conduct an inventory search where they take any property or money belonging to you and they then ask you to sign the inventor form where you agree that everything taken from you is on that list

  • After a person is arrested, he or she is booked. During the booking process an individual is asked from his name, dob, and in some instances is asked to participate in a lineup or provide a handwriting sample. You should not participate in a lineup unless you have your attorney present with you

  • After the booking process, a person’s case is sent to a prosecutor, and the prosecutor decides what charges, if any, to bring against an individual

  • The next step in the process is the arraignment where the charges will be read against you and you will be given the opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty

  • After you’ve been arrested and before your trial, you may be able to avoid having to go to jail by posting bail

None of us look forward to getting arrested, but if you’re in the unfortunate situation of being arrested, you should have a good idea about what to expect. Also, it’s important that you understand that you have rights, such as the right to remain silent, and the right to an attorney. If you want the best criminal attorney to handle your case, please contact the H Law Group, home to best criminal lawyers in Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego.

They Key to Getting Through an Arrest

The key to getting through an arrest is to remain calm and follow the officer’s instructions. That said, following their instructions does not mean that you should answer their questions. You are only obligated to give them general information, don’t give them any details without having your attorney present. Treat the officers respectfully and they might do the same for you. We know that not knowing what’s happening is frightening, but you’ll get through it. More than 30,000 people are arrested daily and go through some of the same things you’ve gone through.

Private Attorney vs Public Defender

If you or a loved one has been charged with or is being investigated for a crime, you should immediately hire an attorney to assist you. Don’t rely on public defender because they’re overworked and overloaded with cases. They barely have time for their clients. Hire an attorney from H Law Group as they’ll treat you with respect and will give you the attention that you deserve. Our LA-based attorneys are experienced and will provide you with the best representation possible by thoroughly going over the details of your case and creating the best possible strategy for it.

Frequently Asked Questions at H Law Group

1) What should the police say when they arrest you?

When they arrest you, the police should give you Miranda warning, which you’ve probably heard many times and this warning states that you have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be used against you, and that you have the right to an attorney. Every time the police arrest someone and are about to question an individual, they must give the person a Miranda warning. If the police fail to give an individual the Miranda warning, everything that’s said is excluded and so are the fruits of such statements.

2) Can you be arrested for a misdemeanor in California?

Yes, you absolutely can be arrested for a misdemeanor in California. For example, drunk driving can be charged as a misdemeanor and people who are stopped for drunk driving typically face a misdemeanor charge.

3) Are court records public in California?

Yes, many court records in California are public, however, some court records are sealed and hidden from public view. However, even though court records are hidden and the public cannot see them, governmental agencies can see them.

4) How long can you be under arrest?

Typically, a person cannot be arrested for more than 72 hours without charges, meaning that charges must be brought against an individual within 72 of his arrest or within a reasonable time after being arrested. Some states specify a certain limit that cannot be exceeded.