What Happens During An Arrest?


If you are suspected of committing a crime, authorities may apprehend you and take you to jail, a process known as an arrest. You may be able to get out of jail, at least temporarily, by posting bail bonds Scranton PA. However, a lot has to happen before you can get to that point.

1. Grounds For Arrest

According to the U.S. Constitution, authorities cannot arrest you without being able to demonstrate a reason. In many cases, they have to produce enough evidence to convince a court to issue a warrant for an arrest. However, it is also possible for authorities to make an arrest without a warrant if they have reason to believe that you were in the process of committing a crime. This is called probable cause, and authorities have to justify it following the arrest.

2. Miranda Rights

The Constitution also protects you against self-incrimination, which is saying something harmful to your case that can be used as evidence against you at trial. During an arrest, authorities must inform you that anything you say can be used against you in court, but you have the right to remain silent and you have the right to representation by an attorney, either one that you hire or one who is appointed to you if you cannot afford legal services otherwise. These rights are called Miranda rights after the Supreme Court case that requires them, Miranda v. Arizona. Ironically, even though one of your Miranda rights is the right to remain silent, you do have to speak to confirm your understanding of them and to invoke them.


3. Search

Upon your arrest, you may be searched several times by law enforcement to look for additional evidence and to ensure that you are not carrying any dangerous weapons. This may consist of an initial pat-down when you are first apprehended followed by a full-blown search later, which may involve not only your person but your car and/or your surroundings.

4. Booking

Booking is an informal term for processing your arrest and obtaining records of it. Authorities will take your photograph, also known as a mug shot, and your fingerprints to check against their records. They will also ask you for basic information, such as your birthdate and address.

Authorities have to act quickly when booking you and filing charges against you. It is unlawful to detain you for an extended period without charges. If authorities do not follow the proper procedure to protect your rights during an arrest, the court may dismiss the charges against you.