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March 24, 2016

What to Expect After Arrest in Arizona

Filed under: Arizona Criminal Law — Tags: , , — admin @ 12:01 pm

shutterstock_357217661Getting arrested or being stopped by authorities is a process no one should have to face on their own. The difference between serving jail time and going back home to your family really depends on how quickly you are able to call legal representation. The right criminal defense lawyer will review your case, make sure your rights were not violated, and put together a solid defense. You can help your case as well by knowing your rights during an arrest:

Am I Free to Go When Stopped by Police?

If you are arrested, police may take you into custody. In this case, you are not free to leave the scene. If you are not arrested, you can still be detained or held for questioning. In this scenario, you never have to answer any questions. Provide your name, address, and show identification if it is requested. This is the only information you are required to provide. Contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Your Rights After an Arrest

Authorities must read you the Miranda rights before an arrest. These rights are guaranteed by the United States Constitution. Failure to provide these warnings is grounds for the court to suppress any statements you made to police. Your Miranda rights are as follows:

  • You have the right to remain silent
  • Anything you say may be used against you
  • You have the right to consult an attorney
  • If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you
  • Even if you didn’t initially ask for an attorney, you have the right to stop questioning at any time to call one

Do not volunteer information before being questioned. Information given at this time is outside the realm of the Miranda warning and would likely be admissible against you in court.

It is possible to be questioned after being read your Miranda rights, but only if you voluntarily give up your rights and are of a sound state of mind. You can waive your Miranda rights, but this is not advisable. If you have requested a lawyer, do not continue to answer questions or it will be assumed you changed your mind and no longer desire legal representation.

Who can Make an Arrest?

All law enforcement officials are allowed to conduct an arrest. This list includes police officers, county sheriff officers, investigators in a county attorney’s or attorney general’s office, highway patrol officers, and probation or parole officers. These individuals can arrest someone whether they are on or off duty.

If a warrant is out for your arrest, any officer in the state can arrest you, even if the officer does not physically have the warrant on hand. Ask to see the arrest warrant and read it to check for errors. If officer does not have a copy, you should be permitted to read it as soon as is practical. There is no time limit on arrest warrants.

Resisting arrest is a crime in Arizona and can result in either a misdemeanor or felony charge in addition to the original crime for which you are being arrested.

After an arrest, you may either be taken into custody or you may be asked to sign a citation. Signing the citation is not an admission of guilt as most people believe – it is only a promise to appear in court. Refusal to sign the citation or lack of ID might result in being taken into custody.

Can the Police Search My Home?

Yes, but there are stipulations. Never consent to a search of your home, vehicle or personal property. If officers do not have a search warrant, they may still legally search the area within your reach to make sure evidence wasn’t disposed of. If arrested outdoors, you may personally be searched, but officers are not permitted to search your home or car. Searches are not just to gather evidence – they are also conducted to ensure officer safety. Be respectful and follow all rules provided during a police search.

Bail is Not a Get Out of Jail Free Card

Bail is an amount of money given to the court to guarantee you will appear at designated hearings. Think of it as a deposit. The alternative to paying bail is being released on your own recognizance (commonly referred to as O.R.), which is a special permission granted by the judge that allows you to be released without paying bail because the judge believes you will show up to your hearing. O.R. is generally only granted to lesser charges in Arizona. Your criminal defense lawyer will ultimately argue for either O.R. or the minimum bail amount at your hearing.

You have the right to a speedy initial hearing, usually within 24 – 48 hours of your arrest. During this hearing, the hearing officer will read the charges against you. Based on your criminal defense lawyer’s arguments, bail may be raised or lowered. If the charges against you are a misdemeanor, your plea will also be discussed at this hearing.

If charges are not dropped after this stage, a trial will ultimately be held.

The best advice for anyone is to call legal representation as soon as possible to help build your case. The sooner a professional criminal defense lawyer gets involved, the better your chances are of obtaining the best possible results in court. Claim your free consultation from The Blumenreich Law Firm today and take the first step toward freedom.