The Actual Arrest
You are arrested when law enforcement officers take you into custody
or otherwise deprive you of your freedom of movement in any significant
way in order to hold you to answer for a criminal offense.
The legal guideline for a felony arrest is "probable cause,"
a reasonable belief by police that the suspect is responsible for
a crime, based on statements by victims or witnesses or observations
by police. Standard operating procedure calls for an arrest to begin
with a frisking and cuffing. The restrained suspect is placed in a
secure police vehicle and taken to headquarters or another booking
venue. Before questioning, the suspect must be informed of basic rights.
Getting in trouble with the law raises a complicated set of legal
issues that, given the heightened emotions of the situation, can seem
overwhelming for most people. Police have a monopoly over the power
of arrest since it is their responsibility to detect and apprehend
criminals. There are several ways an arrest can take place. Some of
these include stops, based on the reasonable suspicion standard in
Stop and Frisk law, or wants, which are based on strong suspicion
or probable cause, such as broadcasts, alarms, pickup orders, bulletins,
fugitive alerts, and wanted notices. Most of these methods involve
communication systems that only the police are privy to, such as Automated
Wants and Warrants Systems (AWWS), BOLOs, other computerized systems,
alerts, teletypes, radios, and fax machines.
Following a lawful arrest, police may make an inventory of the items
the arrestee possessed at the station as part of standardized booking
What do you do if you get arrested?
Keeping your silence
People need to remember that they are not required to talk to the
police and they are not required to consent to anything. You don't
have to talk to police other than to give the necessary information
to be booked into the jail. In almost every case it is better to say
nothing until you have had an opprotunity to visit with your lawyer.
What not to say; when not to say...
Confession might be good for the soul, but it's not good for your
case. If you confess and wish you hadn't, it could be difficult to
have that admission of guilt thrown out of court.
Getting arrested is not the same as a conviction. An arrest is virtually
meaningless without a court branding you guilty.