What happens when someone gets arrested?


When someone is arrested, what happens next follows a specific sequence of experiences. The U.S. and New York constitutions outline certain procedures that law enforcement officials must follow for arrests to be made under the law.

An arrest officially occurs once a law enforcement officer takes someone into custody and that individual is no longer free to go whenever they please. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, there were 10,085,210 arrests in 2019. The following information can offer more insight into the arrest process, your rights while being arrested, and getting legal support after an arrest.

New York Arrest Process

The New York Police Department has provided the following information for those looking to familiarize themselves with the New York City arrest process:

  • Each arrest will begin with calling 911 for crimes in progress or the filing of a report to a local precinct, MTA police, State Police, or Port Authority Police.
  • After the police receive the complaint report, they’ll begin to conduct an investigation which includes finding suspects, collecting evidence, and interviewing witnesses for their testimony.
  • An arrest can be made when law enforcement finds that there is a potential suspect with probable cause for committing the crime.
  • After suspects are arrested they can be searched, transported to the local precinct where they could be photographed and fingerprinted. Certain offenses could get the suspect ordered a citation to appear in court at a later date rather than being taken to the precinct.

Miranda Rights

In 1966, a landmark case entitled Miranda V. Arizona affected how individuals are arrested. The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling found that the following rights have to be explained to those being arrested before they can be questioned:

  • You have the right to remain silent and you don’t have to answer any questions.
  • Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. This is important to note so that the arrested don’t incriminate themselves.
  • You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and to have an attorney present during questioning. If you’re unsure what to say to law enforcement, then legal experts recommend consulting with an adept criminal justice attorney before making any admissions.
  • If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed to you at your request. Each courthouse is responsible for providing attorneys to those who can’t afford private criminal defense attorneys.
  • Individuals who have been arrested also have the right to refuse counsel and defend themselves and If you decide to answer questions without an attorney present, you will still have the right to stop answering at any time until you talk to an attorney.

Miranda laws were enacted to protect those who may have been arrested and to uphold the constitutional ideal of being innocent until proven guilty. It’s important to note that Miranda was tried again at the Arizona state level after the Supreme Court ruling, without the admission of his statement, and still was convicted and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison.  According to https://www.najmilaw.com/, those who feel they have been arrested improperly, unfairly, or illegally should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.

After a New York Arrest

Five major court systems handle cases in the state of New York-based on their jurisdictions. The Criminal Court of New York City and the Supreme Court of the State of New York handle criminal cases. Each time an officer makes an arrest information about that arrest is submitted to the District Attorney’s (DA) Office which decides to file charges or release the suspect.

If the DA decides to press charges against the arrested party, then the DA will submit those charges to a judge at an arraignment. The DA represents the interests of the State of New York and it will be up to you, or your private criminal defense attorney, or your publicly appointed to represent your rights in the case.

At the arraignment, the arrested party can plead guilty and possibly immediately be sentenced or plead not guilty at which point a case becomes pending. Sometimes cases are contemplated for dismissal upon meeting certain factors like staying out of trouble, or a defendant could go to jail, receive bail, or be released while the case is pending.

Felony cases carry a heavier weight therefore what happens during the arraignment process may be different. If you’ve been arrested and unsure what to do next, or someone you love, then contact a consummate criminal defense attorney about protecting your rights.