Did you get arrested recently? Are you feeling as if your rights have been violated? The fact of the matter is, when the police arrest someone, they take away that person’s fundamental right to freedom. As a result there are several procedures the police must follow before they can make a legal arrest so that your rights remain protected. So what are those standard requirements that the police must comply with prior to an arrest?
In many states and police departments there are extra procedures which must be followed. These procedures are designed to protect police officers’ physical safety and sometimes they are designed to help the police officer document the arrest, and help the officer avoid making a legal mistake which could ruin the prosecution’s case in a criminal trial. These extra procedures differ from one police department to the next, but generally there are standard requirements an officer must follow prior to conducting a lawful arrest.
There are only a very limited number of circumstances in which an officer may make an arrest. The first is when an officer has personally observed a crime such as a Driving Under the Influence charge. The second is when the officer has probable cause to believe that the person arrested committed a crime. Probable cause is defined as a reasonable suspicion that the individual arrest may have engaged in unlawful conduct. The final circumstance is when an officer has an arrest warrant issued by a judge.
An officer cannot arrest someone just because he/she feels like it or has a hunch that someone might be a criminal. Police officers have to be able to justify their arrest usually by showing some tangible evidence that led them to probable cause.
The rules regarding what an officer must do while making an arrest vary by jurisdiction. Generally, an arrest happens when the person being arrested reasonably believes that she is not free to leave. The officer need not use handcuffs, or place the arrestee in a patrol car, although police often use these tactics to protect themselves. They also do not have to read Miranda Rights at the time of arrest. However, the police must read a suspect his Miranda Rights before an interrogation, so many police departments recommend that Miranda Rights be read at the time of arrest. This way, they can start questioning right away, and also, any information volunteered by a suspect can be used against them. Finally, although the police will almost always tell an arrestee why they are under arrest, they may not necessarily have any legal obligation to do so. This depends on both the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the arrest.
One universal rule police officers must follow is that they are not allowed to use excessive force or treat the arrestee cruelly. Generally, police officers are only allowed to use the minimum amount of force necessary to protect themselves and bring the suspect into police custody. This is why people are advised to never resist an arrest or argue with police. The more a suspect struggles, the more force is required for the police to do their job. If the arrestee thinks the arrest is unjustified or incorrect, she can always challenge it later with the help of an attorney, and if warranted, bring a civil rights case.
If you or a loved one is in a bind as a result of a criminal charge, immediately contact a Seattle Criminal Attorney. A Criminal lawyer is not going to judge you, and understands that everyone makes mistakes. Hiring a Seattle Criminal Lawyer to help can – at a minimum – reduce penalties, and can help direct people on how to best deal with their criminal charge, and many times even get them dismissed. So it should go without saying that someone cited for a misdemeanor or felony should hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Lawyer as soon as possible. Criminal charges can cause havoc on a person’s personal and professional life. Anyone charged with a crime in Washington State should immediately seek the assistance of a seasoned Seattle Criminal Lawyer.