When someone gets arrested in San Marcos, or placed under arrest, there is standard protocol by law enforcement which can be expected. In this article, we cover what happens at the actual time of arrest, what to prepare for after an arrest, and whether hiring a lawyer is the next best move.
At the time of arrest
Believe it or not, most arrests are made because of warrants that have been issued. An arrest warrant is a document issued by a judge on behalf of the state, that authorizes the arrest and detention of a person in order to appear in court before the judge.
Arrest warrants are issued when someone has been accused of a crime such as a parole violation, complaints or indictments. However, not all arrests require a warrant. For instance, if a police officer sees a crime happening, that officer can make an arrest. A police officer can also arrest a person if he or she has probable cause that the person has committed a crime.
At the time of arrest, police officers have to read to the arrested person their Miranda rights. The Miranda rights are read to the arrested person to explain their right to an attorney and the right to remain silent. The police must also read these rights before asking any questions.
Keep in mind that you are not required to answer questions or say anything at the time of an arrest. However, if the police do not read you your Miranda rights, anything you do say cannot be used in a court of law as evidence.
Following the arrest
After being taken into custody, the arrested person is taken to jail for booking where an arrest record will be created and where you will stay for a length of time. At this stage, it is best to be as cooperative as possible. Investigations may also follow after the arrest.
How long can you expect to stay in jail?
Generally, within 72 hours following an arrest, you will go before a judge to learn about the charges against you. The person can then plead guilty or not guilty. If you have a trial date set, it is possible that you may stay in jail until then. If bail is posted, the person may be able to leave jail sooner. Of course, they will then have to show up in court on a later date.
After being released from jail
If after being released from jail, you receive a criminal charge, you can then take the case to trial. Sometimes prosecutors will drop criminal charges if they are very minor. Charges can also be dropped if the victim in the crime so chooses to request this.
While having charges dropped seems like enough, you will want to make sure your record is not negatively impacted. The way to ensure this is to consult with an attorney who can help with expungements and record sealing.
Should you hire a lawyer after an arrest?
If you are looking at being charged with a criminal offense, you certainly will want to consult with an attorney. An experienced criminal defense attorney will have your best interests in mind and can help you navigate through these difficult situations. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer will also generally result in a more positive outcome than trying to represent yourself or relying on a public defender.
So if you have been arrested in San Marcos, let us help you defend your rights.