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Virginia Arrest Process

The first thing that happens in a Virginia arrest is to tell the person that they are under arrest. That act might also be in concert with the act of actually laying of hands on a person to take them under control. The words usually precede the laying of hands but sometimes the actions are simultaneous.

If these steps are not done, it can be considered a lawful arrest. However, as a general rule, a person must eventually be told that they are under arrest and for what reason.

Effect of Location

The location of someone’s arrest can influence the way police officers conduct an arrest. For example, the process of some Virginia arrests starts with an investigation into a person for criminal wrongdoing. When the officer or detective in charge of that investigation decides that the person needs to be arrested; there are certain circumstances under which they afford that person the opportunity to turn themselves in.

Under that set of circumstances, the arrest process can be smooth and civil. They meet at the jail or the magistrate’s office, which is usually adjacent to most jails. The police take the person into custody and take them before a magistrate. When someone is arrested by turning themselves in after being made aware that there is a warrant for their arrest, their odds of getting a bond are much higher.

Street arrests, whether for a crime committed in the presence of an officer or a domestic violence claim where a person is arrested in his or her own home, can be accompanied by the use of force on the part of the officers. They are very often anything but civil in their decorum during that arrest process in Virginia.

Sometimes, actual force is necessary; other times, it can be over the top.

Impact of Time

If there is an arrest that takes place some amount of time after the crime was committed, the police get a warrant. That must be done for any misdemeanor charge, but the officers or detectives can arrest based on probable cause if a felony was committed outside the presence of that officer. However, they must acquire a warrant whenever time has elapsed between the commission of a misdemeanor and the time of the arrest.

When officers observe the person committing the crime, they can place the person under arrest directly without the need to go the magistrate for a warrant, whether it is a felony or a misdemeanor.

After the Arrest is Made

The first procedural step after a person is arrested is being taken before a judicial officer known as a magistrate. A magistrate works in conjunction with the local jail and their role is to evaluate the merits of the arrest by determining whether or not the officer had probable cause to make that arrest.

When the magistrate determines that the officer did have probable cause to place a person under arrest, the next consideration is whether or not the person is entitled to some form of bail or bond. A bail or a bond is an amount of money that can be secured by cash or be unsecured. The bail or bond is designed to ensure the accused person’s presence for all future court proceedings.

Miranda Rights

If the police intend to question the person after they are placed under arrest, they must read the Miranda rights to the person. However, if the police have no intention of further investigating the case or further discussing the matter with the person who was arrested, technically, they are not required to read the Miranda rights.

The Miranda rights are applicable in circumstances where a person is being subjected to custodial interrogation. A person is only subjected to interrogation when they are in custody; for example, they are under arrest and being asked questions.

The police must advise a person of their rights under Miranda when they intend to subject that person to custodial interrogation. If they fail to do so, any statements made pursuant to custodial interrogation must be excluded from the government’s case.

That remedy for failing to read the Miranda rights is limited and rarely applied.

Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law

Patrick Woolley Attorney At Law
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