Wednesday, December 5, 2012
What You Need to Know About the Arrest Process
Nobody wants to get arrested. Whether you would be kept in a county jail or in prison, the fact still remains that you are arrested. While you are in a cell, waiting for your lawyer or for someone to post bail, it really doesn't matter whether you are innocent or guilty. You are still, currently, locked up. Knowing how the arrest process goes would be able to alleviate the fear somehow. As always, we fear what we don’t understand. We fear the unknown. Having an idea of what the processes are would be able to give us some kind of reassurance.
When can you be sure that you have been arrested? By watching movies and TV shows, we see that when people get arrested, they are given the “you have the right to remain silent” speech. This is actually the signal that, yes, with absolute certainty, you are being arrested. You have to be read your rights as you get arrested because if not, you may later on be allowed to walk (even if you are actually guilty) simply because you were not arrested properly.
After that, you will probably be handcuffed, led to a police car, and driven to the nearest county jail. A county jail is not the same as prison, don’t worry. Or at least, don’t worry yet. In a county jail, you will only be held for a short period of time. This is where you will be questioned, where you will wait for your lawyer, etc. Basically, it is where you would be held while the preliminaries are done.
As you also have probably seen in movies and TV shows, you have the right to refuse to answer any questions and wait for your lawyer to arrive. You also have the right to at least one phone call. This call would probably be used for calling your lawyer. It is important to note that though it is your right to have a lawyer; it is not something that would be initiated by the police. You will have to be the one to “lawyer up”.
You can only be kept in a county jail for a reasonable amount of time. You should also be kept there for a reason. The police cannot hold for as long as they want. Usually, your lawyer will handle the arrangement of bail so you can be released or the issue of getting you to a judge to determine if your detainment is with reasonable cause. Your bail can be posted by you, if you have the money. It can also be arranged through bail bond, which your lawyer can process on your behalf.
As you can see, having a lawyer is important. They know more about the legal process, your legal rights, how to deal with the police, etc. If you cannot afford a lawyer, then you will be given one, free of charge. It is also crucial to at least be familiar with your rights. This is to ensure that, whether you are guilty or not, you are not being abused while you are detained at a county jail.