What Happens after Being Detained by Police?


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When someone has been suspected of criminal activity, the law enforcement officers that observe the individual may arrest him or her and take him or to the police station. If the person has been detained pending an investigation or questioning, he or she may remain in a local or county jail until read his or her Miranda Rights so he or she may acquire a lawyer.

Being detained by police is often the first step before an investigation into a possible crime occurs. The individual has been suspected of some type of activity that is illegal. This could range from drunk driving to selling drugs to murder. The officers that arrest the suspect have a reasonable belief that he or she has been involved in the crime or is the perpetrator. Then, once the arrest is made, the law enforcement agency has only so long before charges must be filed to keep the individual in jail. If an interview or questions are asked, the potential perpetrator has the right to a lawyer.

Unless the possible perpetrator has been injured, he or she may be placed in the local jail until either he or she is released or a lawyer has been hired to assist with the matter. This includes any instances of forceful arrest or when the suspect has been harmed by officers prior or during the arrest situation. However, the individual is entitled to medical treatment if necessary. Additionally, if the accused is innocent of crimes, he or she may have cause to sue the department for wrongful arrest or assault. However, police officers may add charges if the individual resists arrest or becomes violent before being placed in the squad car.

The Detention and Arrest

When someone is arrested, he or she is under suspicion of criminal activity or to have been involved in similar behavior himself or herself or someone else. The individual locked up in jail under usual circumstances for a brief time. Typically, the person called may pay a fee to have him or her released if nothing further is necessary. Then, the suspect may be contacted by the local law enforcement agency about the situation and additional procedures initiate. This may involve a fine for actions or an investigation into the matter. If the process involves potential court proceedings, there may be an interview or a detention involved.

A detention of an individual is when he or she is held under suspicion of criminal behavior for possible interview or interrogation. The law enforcement officers are obligated to read the Miranda Rights to the subject, and a lawyer is then permitted for contact and communication. The suspected person is not under arrest necessarily, but he or she is not free to leave either. However, if the questions asked are only for identification purposes, a lawyer may not be a given right, and Miranda Rights may have been stated. If during a detention officers discover evidence that ties the person to the crime, he or she may then face an arrest as well.

Time of Detention

When the person suspected is detained by police, the amount of time taken depends on how much the law enforcement agency believes the individual is involved and if he or she is connected to others that are under surveillance. If the detention is not the standard brief and cursory, it may be broadened into what is considered a not official arrest or a de facto arrest. This may occur if there are additional factors, more evidence is gathered or someone else has stepped forward to give new information about the case. A full arrest is still possible, and may be held in reserve until all other avenues have been explored.

If there was any violence or aggressive behavior exhibited by officers, the individual may have been arrested rather than placed in detention. However, without a full interview taking place, there is no need to provide Miranda Rights or offer for a lawyer to be present. The detention process is used to determine if the person is a suspect, has connections to someone suspected of criminal intent or knows something either directly or related to a case. After a few hours, the detainee may be released, but he or she may become detained attain in the future.

Legal Help for Detainees

Once someone has been detained, he or she may not have any legal rights to a lawyer. However, at the first possible chance, he or she may call or hire legal representation to protect his or her rights.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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