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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 procedures.

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.

Remember this......

Getting arrested is not the same as a conviction. An arrest is virtually meaningless without a court branding you guilty.

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