The Process of a Criminal Arrest
Typically, the criminal process begins with a stop or an arrest. In most cases, a law enforcement officer can only arrest a person if:
- The officer has probable cause to believe that the person committed a felony.
- The officer witnessed the person committing a misdemeanor.
- There is a warrant for that person’s arrest.
Regardless of what the reason may be, when a person is stopped or arrested, it is important they understand their rights from beginning to end. To help you understand the criminal process in detail, our Reno criminal defense attorneys have listed each step below:
1. A Person is Stopped by a Law Enforcement Officer for Questioning
It is important to keep in mind that a stop differs from an arrest. A stop occurs when a person is detained by a police officer for questioning. This differs from an arrest because the officer does not move that person to an alternate location. When a person is detained, they should remember the following:
- The person does not have to answer any questions posed by the officer.
- The officer cannot search the person’s vehicle without the person’s consent unless the officer has probable cause to do so.
If the officer performs a vehicle search without the person’s consent, and the court rules that the officer did not have probable cause to do so, any evidence the law enforcement officer finds during the search cannot be used against the person.
2. If Arrested, the Person Must Be Read Their Miranda Rights
If a person is placed under arrest, the arresting law enforcement officer is responsible for informing the suspect of their constitutional rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to retain legal representation. During this part of the process, an arrested individual should remember they are not limited to a single phone call. It is wise for suspects to use this opportunity to contact an experienced lawyer right away. A seasoned attorney can protect the individual from heavy fines and serious penalties.
3. A Person is Booked After They Have Been Arrested and Charged with a Crime
At this point, the arrested individual will be fingerprinted, their name will be recorded, the individual’s crime will be recorded in police records, and the person’s belongings will be taken and stored for the duration of the person’s custody. Depending on the person’s criminal charge, the individual may be released to attend a court hearing. In some cases, the person may have to put up a bail to secure their release.
4. The Individual May Be Asked to Attend a Court Hearing
If a person is asked to attend a court hearing, they will be asked to enter a plea. The person can plead “no contest,” “not guilty,” or “guilty.” If the person pleads “not guilty,” there will be a trial. If this occurs, the judge will decide whether the person should be held in custody until sentencing. If the person is found not guilty at the conclusion of the trial, the person will be free to go and the criminal process will end. If the person is found guilty, the sentencing process will proceed.
Let Joey Gilbert Law Defend Your Freedom!
If you have been arrested or were accused of a crime, it is crucial you retain an experienced lawyer right away. At Joey Gilbert Law, our Reno criminal defense lawyers are backed by years of experience and can do everything in their power to have your charges and penalties reduced or dismissed. No matter what your case may be, our firm can put a relentless team on your side of the courtroom. When your future and rights are on the line, you cannot afford to wait a minute longer.