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Helping you understand the  arresting process

I encourage you to invest 45 minutes and watch this video on the 5th Amendment by Prof. James Duane of the University of Virginia Law School as he lectures to other lawyers at a legal seminar in 2005.  

An arrest occurs when the police have reason to believe that you have committed a criminal offense.  It is of no consequence whether the police officer witnessed the alleged crime.  In Texas, the police are authorized to effectuate an arrest when they have probable cause to believe that you participated in any offense defined in the Texas Penal Code, or any of the several other statutes proscribing criminal conduct.

     When people are arrested, they are taken to the local police or sheriff's department, where they are held before they are processed for the arraignment procedure.  Before seeing a judge, a person facing arrest will be “processed” while in police custody, which usually includes fingerprinting and the preparation of arrest paperwork.  This is also where the arresting officers determine exactly what crimes with which to charge the defendant.  Then a judge or magistrate will assess a bond.  At that time, you or someone you designate may contact a bondsman to post bond for your release.

     Often citizens awaiting arraignment believe that it may be in their interest to speak to the police officers regarding the facts of their case.  TALKING TO THE POLICE IS NOT IN YOUR BEST INTEREST.  Most people believe that they can “talk their way out of an arrest.”  Be advised that speaking to the police WILL HARM YOU in the long run if you make admissions regarding your conduct.  If you freely volunteer information to the police, that information will be used AGAINST you during your criminal case.  Nothing that you say to the police can ever be used FOR YOU in court because of the rules of evidence.

     The best course of action is always to request a defense attorney as soon as possible and to decline to incriminate yourself.  Also, a recent Supreme Court case has held that you must actually state out loud that you want to speak to a lawyer and that you do not wish to make any statements.





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