The Arrest Process: What Happens During an Arrest and Booking

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When a person is being arrested, there are certain series of events that place. There are also certain legal procedures the police must follow during the arrest and after the arrest process. An arrest happens when you are placed into custody and it is complete when you cannot walk away from the officer.

What you SHOULD do during an arrest

· You should be polite to the arresting office. You should not give them any reason to see you as a threat or allow them the impression that you are hard to deal with.

· You should check the officer’s name and badge number or ask them for future references.

· Ask the reason for the arrest.

· Demand your right to an attorney before saying anything.

· In case arrested in your car, show the officer your license.

· If physically injured by the police during your arrest, seek medical attention and take pictures if possible.

What you should NOT do

· Do not offer the police any information, regardless of the tactics they use to get it.

· Do not assume they have a search warrant. You are protected by the Fourth Amendment that prevents a search and seizure if they have no warrant so ask to see it.

· You should not either interfere or obstruct the officer or you risk facing additional charges.

· Do not resist arrest regardless of the fact that you might be innocent. If you do, you face additional charges.

· Do not agree to a property search unless they have a warrant. Search and seizure without a warrant is illegal.

· Do not sign any document unless you already have an attorney present.

· Do not talk if the attorney tells you not to.

· Try not to lie to the police or your attorney once you decide to offer information.

During the arrest 

When the police stop you, they are going to frisk you. This means they will do a pat down of your clothing in search of a concealed weapon. When they arrest you, they can them perform a full blown search of the surrounding and your person in search of weapons, evidence, stolen items or contraband. If your care is taken by the police, it will be searched as well.

After the inventory, they will secure all your possessions, including money then ask that you sign the inventory. You should only do so if you agree on the contents included in the inventory.

During the booking

After the arrest, you will be booked. This is where the police will ask you some basic information like your birth date, your address, take your fingerprints and your photographs. You could be asked to participate in a line-up but this is always best to do when your attorney is present. They might also ask you to provide a handwriting sample.

In case the police detain you without booking you within several hours or even overnight, your attorney can go to a judge to obtain a writ of habeas corpus. This order is issued by a judge to instruct the police to take you before court in order to determine if you are being held lawfully.

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