Expectations Following a DC Assault Arrest

Knowing the expectations following a DC assault arrest can be important to know how to handle oneself in interactions with law enforcement. When a person is arrested in Washington, DC on allegations of assault, the first thing that police may do is attempt to interrogate or question the person who has been arrested.

Every person who interacts with the police should know that they have no obligation to answer any questions without a credible assault attorney by their side. It is an absolute constitutional right that a person does not have to answer to questions, and the police cannot penalize the person or charge the person with additional crimes if they choose to not answer their questions.

Are Police Officers Required to Mirandize the Accused?

Part of the expectations following a DC assault arrest is being read their Miranda rights. However, that may not always occur. In many situations, the police do not actually have an obligation to tell the person that they have the right not to answer their questions. Informing a person of this right is usually referred to as a Miranda warning.

Only under certain circumstances are police required to read a person their Miranda rights, if they want to interrogate the person they have arrested. An important thing for everyone who has been arrested or is being questioned by the police to know is that anything that they say, any of their statements, are usable as evidence against them later on in their trial.

A person should understand that they have that right to not answer questions and that, if they choose to answer questions, their statements are usable as evidence against them. When a person is arrested, they are taken to a local district police station where they are booked and processed, which includes being fingerprinted, photographed and processed by the arresting officers.

Expectations After a DC Assault Arrest

Once a person has been processed, the next step for the police is to decide whether the person they arrested is eligible to be released directly from the police station, with the citation to appear for their initial court appearance (usually about three weeks later). Because Washington, DC. does not have monetary bail, no person will ever be required to pay money in order to be released from the police station or released on bond.

Understanding the Role of Police Following an Arrest

Some regulations for officers are considered mandatory and some are discretionary, in order to make a decision whether they can release a person they have arrested directly from the station. For most misdemeanor simple assault cases, the arrestees who are not on probation or have some other criminal case pending will most frequently be released on citation directly from the police station with the requirement to appear back for an initial court appearance several weeks later.

Police are not required to grant a person they have arrested the ability to make such a phone call but, in many situations, that opportunity is granted. In the event that an arrestee is not able to hire private representation to appear with them for their initial court appearance, there is always a defense attorney appointed by the court who will represent every defendant at their initial court appearance. At that point, the court can make a determination whether that defendant is eligible to maintain court-appointed representation or, based on the defendant’s income and assets, would not be eligible for court-appointed representation and would then have to go about hiring private representation.

Expected Treatment of Felony Assault Charges

The expectations following a DC assault arrest may differ based on the severity of one’s case. For people who have been arrested on more serious assault charges, such as felony assault, aggravated assault, or assault that may have involved dangerous weapons, those arrestees will most likely not be released directly from the police station. They will be transferred directly from the station over to the courthouse to appear before a judge who would make a decision after hearing arguments from prosecutors and defense lawyers as to whether that person should be released while their case is pending.

Even in those situations, Washington, DC. does not use monetary bail, so a person will not be required to put a bail to secure their own release. If a person is not eligible for citation and is transported directly to the court for release determination, a person in that situation may be permitted to contact a family member or contact a friend who can help the arrestee secure private legal representation who can then be present with the arrestee for their initial court appearance for release determinations.