If you are facing your first arrest, you probably have many questions regarding the process including whether law enforcement followed proper protocol with regard to arresting you, searching your person and detaining you in the local jail. A Sacramento criminal defense attorney may be able to help not only by answering your post-arrest questions but by helping you avoid an extensive sentence or any unnecessary punishments resulting from unlawful arrest procedures.
Under typical circumstances following an arrest, the suspect is transported from a police stationhouse to a county jail. At this time, he may not have access to a phone and family members are likely unable to contact him for a length of time. Following your stay in the county jail, you will then be transported to a central booking facility (depending on the jurisdiction) and then to court. Procedures may vary from state to state and precinct to precinct. Procedures may also vary between daytime and nighttime arrests.
If you have already retained a Sacramento criminal defense attorney, be sure to invoke your rights at the early stages following arrest as he or she will make inquiries into which jurisdiction you were arrested in and what precinct is currently housing you. Once your attorney has located you, he or she will then request information about when you are expected to make a court appearance. If this information is unknown by the arresting authority, your attorney will follow your trail backwards: court, the jail, central booking and the stationhouse.
Once you are located, the facility should provide your Sacramento criminal defense attorney with the following information: how long you will be housed in the facility, is bail an option for you, and can you receive attorney and family visits?
In some situations, the police effectuated an unlawful arrest against a suspect and this can result in the termination of prosecution. In order to arrest a person, police must have probable cause. Probable cause, in general, means that law enforcement has a reasonable belief that you committed a crime. Even if probable cause is not apparent at the time of your arrest, the state must mount probable cause before your first court appearance.
If your arrest was unlawful, one of two results will occur: you will be released or evidence against you is suppressed. If the prosecutor cannot garner sufficient evidence of probable cause before your initial appearance, the court will dismiss the case. If police obtained physical evidence through an illegal search and seizure or other such violation of the U.S. Constitution, a suppression hearing will be held and the judge will determine if the evidence should be excluded from introduction at your trial.
All these considerations, and many more, must be reviewed between you and your Sacramento misdemeanor criminal attorney. If you are facing a misdemeanor criminal conviction and are not already represented by an attorney, contact our Sacramento criminal defense attorney Param Pabla for an evaluation of your case.