Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
August 30. 2022.
What Is an arrest?
An arrest is the taking of a person into police custody for committing a criminal offense. An arrest can be made under either of the following conditions:
An Arrest Warrant
A judge or court magistrate issues the arrest warrant. It must be supported by a signed affidavit showing probable cause for a specific crime and the person(s) named in the warrant suspected of committing it. The warrant authorizes the arrest and detention of the person(s).
Probable cause to arrest without a warrant exists when a police officer has valid reasons based on facts and circumstances that reasonably indicate that a person has committed a serious crime or is about to commit a crime.
Police Officers Approaching You: What You Should Do
Whether you are being questioned or arrested by police officers, you should remain calm and not aggravate the situation. The following steps might help you in these situations:
Unless a warrant is obtained, you are not required to let police into your home to arrest you. However, an arrest warrant allows the police to enter the house of the person listed on it if they believe the person is inside.
When law enforcement stops you while you are driving a car, turn off the engine, turn on your interior lights, open the driver-side window and place your hands on the steering wheel. Passengers should have both hands visible.
When you are stopped in a public place by a police officer, stop and keep your hands where the officer can see them.
If you resist arrest, you can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If you run from the crime scene and are a threat of harm to anyone, you could be charged with a Class E felony.
The Arraignment Process
An arraignment is the initial court appearance after an arrest. An arraignment occurs after you’ve been arrested, received a summons to appear in court, or been indicted by a grand jury. The judge reads out the criminal charges against you and asks if you understand them during the court hearing. You will then enter a plea of “guilty” or “not guilty.” The judge sets your bail amount, or you are released until the court date.
It is vital to have legal representation at the arraignment so that the bail process can be explained and the lawyer can help you get released. A Kansas City drug lawyer or a DWI lawyer can best help you if you are facing a felony charge such as a drug crime, violent crime, or aggravated DWI. The Missouri courts will appoint a public criminal defense lawyer when you do not have an attorney and cannot afford to pay one.
Does an Arrest go on Your Record?
An arrest will impact your criminal record. An arrest could stay on your record for years or even permanently. Records of arrests and prosecutions are maintained by the United States Department of Justice and state and local law enforcement agencies. However, most states have laws prohibiting background checks from revealing records of arrests that occurred more than seven years prior.
How Can an Attorney Help Someone Arrested in Kansas City, MO?
Being arrested for a crime is a frightening experience. As a result of a felony conviction, you may lose your right to vote, be unable to get a job, lose your professional license, or have difficulty renting an apartment or getting a loan. With the help of trusted lawyers in Kansas City who are familiar with the local criminal court system, you are more likely to achieve a favorable outcome.
Kansas City criminal defense attorneys represent individuals accused of nearly any type of crime, including drug crimes, sex crimes, assault, and other violent crimes. They can determine whether you have grounds for dismissal of the charges against you, provide legal advice on plea options, explain their defense strategy, and guide you through the criminal justice system.
Schedule a free consultation with a trial lawyer from the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center.