What Happens After a Person Is Arrested?

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(Newswire.net — June 19, 2020) — The moments after you realize that you’ve been arrested can be some of the most terrifying in your life. From the moment you’re placed in handcuffs to when you’re released on bond, you have very little control over your life. However, it’s essential that you keep a cool head and make wise decisions. 

Probable Cause and the Miranda Warnings

A law enforcement officer should only place you under arrest if they have probable cause that you committed a crime. If you are uncertain whether or not you’re under arrest, ask if you’re free to go. If the officer tells you that you’re not free to leave, you are considered to be under arrest whether you’re in handcuffs, in the back of a police car, or sitting in your own car. That means that your Miranda rights apply. If a police officer asks you a question without advising you that you have the right to remain silent, the right to an attorney, and anything you say can be used against you, they risk having your statements thrown out of court. They would be inadmissible. 

Exercising Your Right to Remain Silent

It’s important that you don’t discuss your arrest with anyone, including the police officers that took you into custody. A simple statement like, “I thought I was driving fine,” or “I only had a couple of drinks,” can be used as evidence against you. You are required to give basic information, like name, date of birth, and address, but you should not engage in any conversation with officers or detectives. 

First Appearance in Florida

For some types of misdemeanor cases, you may be released on scene with a notice to appear that requires your to show up in court. In some instances, the police can also release you from the station or jail. For domestic batteries, DUIs, and more serious crimes, you will be held at the county jail until your First Appearance. By law, you must see a judge within 24 hours of the time of your arrest. During the first appearance:

  • A judge or magistrate will review the probable cause
  • You will hear your charges
  • You will be given a copy of the complaint
  • They will advise you of your right to counsel
  • They will determine if you can be released

Once again, it’s important not to discuss your case with the judge or magistrate. Spontaneous utterances can be used against you. 

Retaining an Attorney 

You are not required by law to have an attorney. It is, however, in your best interests. If you can’t afford an attorney, the state will appoint one for you from the public defender’s office. In Orange County, FL, the public defender’s office is staffed with many inexperienced attorneys, all with heavy caseloads. The pressure on these professionals to plea bargain with cases is overwhelming. If you are able to afford an attorney, you will invariably do better with a private defense lawyer. Once your attorney takes your case, you should be honest about the details surrounding your case.

If you’ve been arrested or charged with a crime in the Orlando area and are seeking representation, go to the thefloridatriallawyer.com.