What takes place if I am arrested? How should I respond?
For most of us, being arrested is a frightening prospect, so understanding what will occur can keep you from panicking. As soon as you are arrested, it is essential to contact a skilled and experienced defense attorney who can represent your interests.
Though the steps may vary somewhat from one region in the U.S. to another, if you are arrested, you are likely to:
- Be handcuffed
- Be taken to the local precinct for "processing"
- Be asked your name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number
- Be photographed and fingerprinted
- Be taken to Central Booking and processed for arraignment (appearance before a judge)
- Be checked to see if you are wanted for an arrest, warrant, summons or unpaid traffic ticket.
You should note that you will only be handcuffed, photographed and fingerprinted if you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. If you are only charged with a violation, you will only undergo these processes if you are suspected of being linked to another crime. While you are at the precinct, a police officer will search you and take charge of your personal property for which you will be given a voucher. Any contraband found on your person, however, will be confiscated and used as "arrest evidence." Such material will not be returned to you.
Are you really allowed one phone call?
In reality, you may be allowed or denied a phone call; many times you will be allowed several. It depends a great deal on the crime you're accused of and the way you've behaved as you were taken into custody.
What's a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT)?
If you are fortunate, you may be released on a DAT and required to return to the courthouse at a later date for arraignment. In such a case, the precinct processing typically takes from 4 to 6 hours, after which you will be free to leave.
Your Miranda Rights
You will only be read your Miranda rights if the police plan to question you, but you should be careful about what you say anyway. The police have the right to use any statements you make voluntarily against you, even if you make them to a third party or during a telephone call. If the police do decide to question you, you should insist on your right to have your attorney present.
Staying at Central Booking
If you are held at Central Booking, you are entitled to any necessary medical treatment while in custody. An EMS paramedic will examine you and determine whether you need treatment of should be kept away from others because of an infectious disease.
You should anticipate the wait for arraignment to be long -- but according to law you must be arraigned within 18 to 24 hours. You will be provided with food and a beverage and you can request drinking water, soap, toilet paper, and sanitary protection if necessary.
If you require regular medication and have it with you in its original prescription bottle, it can be administered to you; if you don't have it with you, someone can bring it to you at the station. The police may try to bully you out of requesting your medication by telling you this will prolong your release, but this is untrue.
When all your paperwork has been finished, your case will be assigned to an arraignment room (docketed). If you don't have your own lawyer, a legal aid attorney will be assigned to you. You will consult with your lawyer privately and he or she may need to contact a friend or family member to verify the information you provided and to further establish that you have "ties to the community."
The actual arraignment is the process during which you are formally charged and read your rights. In many cases, you lawyer may waive this right to save time. You will be told what evidence that state has against you and be asked to offer a plea. At this point, you will either be released on your own recognizance (ROR'd) or have bail set. It is unlikely that you will have to speak at your arraignment.
If you have been arrested and are looking for a highly skilled criminal defense attorney please consult with our excellent attorneys at Ianniello Anderson. We serve clients in the Albany, Clifton Park, Glens Falls, Saratoga Springs, Troy, and the entire Northeastern NY areas and can be reached at (518) 350.7755.