An encounter with law enforcement can be very intimidating, and it is natural to feel nervous that you are in some way violating the law. However, an arrest and a detention are very distinctive situations that have different conditions as far as your rights. It is very important to remember the distinction between a detention and an arrest, so that you understand what your rights are should one of these situations occur.
It is important to understand that if law enforcement confronts you, this does not always mean that you are under arrest. Remaining calm and maintaining civility are the best actions to take when being questioned by the police. It is also important to avoid running away, and always keep your hands visible to that the police can see them. The police need reasonable suspicion to detain an individual, and you have the right to ask the police why you have been detained. If you are not under arrest, you have the right to walk away. If the police still proceed to arrest you, you have the right to speak with an criminal defense attorney.
Law enforcement must have probable cause or a warrant to make an arrest. If a law enforcement officer has a reasonable belief, that there is in fact a high probability that you have been involved in criminal activity, the police officer may arrest you. If you are arrested, this means that you are officially being charged with a crime. As opposed to a detainment, you do not have the right to leave once an arrest has taken place. Once the arrest has been made, you can be held in jail for up to 24 hours, and you may have to pay bail to be released from custody.
It is important to quickly seek legal representation upon an arrest to protect your rights. A Criminal Defense Attorney can provide you with legal counsel, and advise you in regards to your rights. An experienced lawyer can also advise you in the actions and procedures that need to take place going forward. If you have been arrested, or issued a traffic citation, call Blick Law Firm today for a free 15-minute consultation. Think Quick, Call Blick!