If a person is arrested, he or she may not understand the reason why or whether it is lawful. There are certain arrest procedures that law enforcement must follow.
Arrest and Miranda rights
An arrest happens when a person is stopped by law enforcement, taken into custody and is no longer free to leave. The person who is arrested is entitled to have their rights read to them, also known as their Miranda rights. These include the right to remain silent, to consult an attorney and that if the person decides to answer questions, he or she can stop at any time and talk to an attorney.
Once a person is arrested, law enforcement can search him or her and the surrounding area. They will also take an inventory of personal property or money they find during the search and may ask the arrested person to sign it.
Booking, charges and arraignment
After the arrest, the person is booked. This means that law enforcement will collect his or her name and contact information, take a photo, may give him or her a jail uniform, take fingerprints and check for warrants. After booking, he or she is held in jail until trial or a bail hearing.
The prosecutor must present the initial charges promptly, but may change them if additional evidence is found later. The person will then attend an arraignment, which means that the charges are read and he or she will tell the court their plea.
If a person is arrested, an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide advice.