Process of an Arrest in DC

In Washington DC, the arrest process normally follows a typical, straightforward procedure. Normally, a warrant is necessary to make an arrest, but there are instances where a law enforcement officer is able to make an arrest without one. If you are looking for any information, are questioning the procedure of your arrest, or are looking for defense in a case, it is pertinent to hire an experienced resisting arrest lawyer immediately. An attorney can help defend you, and reduce any of your potential penalties to a minimum.

Initial Arrest Process

In DC, a law enforcement officer will most likely tell someone verbally that he or she is under arrest. This will usually involve the person being handcuffed before being transported to the nearest police station. At the police station, law enforcement will begin booking and processing the person.

The person’s fingerprints and photographs will be taken, and identifying information will be recorded. After the arrest, law enforcement may read the person his or her Miranda rights if law enforcement intends to question the person. Miranda rights include the right remain silent, the right to speak with an attorney before answering a police officer’s questions, the right to have an attorney present during questioning, and the right to stop answering questions at any time.

Location of the Arrest

The location of an alleged crime should not have a large impact on how the arrest is conducted by law enforcement. However, the circumstances of the situation may impact how officers conduct the arrest. For example, if police are at a person’s home because they have a warrant, the arrest itself may be uneventful if the person complies and does not resist.

If the person resists or opposes police when they have a warrant, the scene could get more confrontational, since police could be concerned about who or what else might be in the person’s home. This is similar to arrests that occur in public. If a person complies with law enforcement and does not resist arrest, the scene will be much more uneventful than if a person opposes or counters the police.

Warrantless Arrest

If officers observe a person committing a crime and therefore have probable cause to believe the person committed the crime, the law enforcement officer is permitted to make an arrest even without an applicable warrant. This applies even to misdemeanors. Generally, barring certain exceptions, police need a warrant to make a misdemeanor arrest. But if police witness a person committing the misdemeanor, a warrantless arrest is permissible.

Miranda Rights

An individual’s Miranda rights include the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. Police are only required to read an individual their Miranda rights when they are in custody and being interrogated by police. For example, if an individual is arrested for a crime, placed into a patrol car, and taken to jail without any questioning from police, the police do not have to read out the Miranda rights.

Even if an individual is in custody, and they are not being interrogated or questioned, Miranda rights do not have to be read out. However, if an individual has been arrested and questioned by the police, their Miranda Rights must be read to them. If police failed to read an individual their Miranda rights in these circumstances, it is considered a violation of rights, and any statement that an individual makes should be considered involuntary and inadmissible as evidence against them.

A failure to read an individual their Miranda rights in circumstances where they must be read will not necessarily affect the validity of the arrest. However, this violation of rights will impact the case against the individual, as the court should find any statements that they made as a result of the custodial interrogation to be inadmissible. This means that the prosecutor in an individual’s case will not be allowed to admit as evidence any statements that were made, and the fact finder in the case, either a judge or a jury, will not be allowed to consider any statements that were made under interrogation.