Being arrested in Pennsylvannia can be both scary and intimidating. As a result, it is important you know what to expect and what your rights are when taken into custody. Below, is information on what takes place once someone is placed under arrest and when Miranda warnings come into play. For more information regarding your case, call and schedule a consultation with a Bucks County criminal lawyer today.
When a person is arrested in Bucks County, it often does not mean that a person is taken in to custody immediately and held until a judge determines bail. Instead, what commonly occurs in Bucks County is that an officer will make an arrest by taking a person in to custody and holding them until their proper information is obtained.
If it’s for a misdemeanor or mild minor crime, in most cases, if a person does not have a bad record and has the ability to obtain a private attorney, those individuals are immediately released. At a later time they then have to appear at a scheduled appointment at a police station to give appropriate fingerprints. Then, the person will be mailed paperwork involving a date for a preliminary hearing or summons for a summary trial. It’s that district court summons and preliminary hearing level that is the first major step in a criminal process in Bucks County.
At that hearing, a preliminary hearing may take place where the government may call witnesses to establish if more likely than not a crime took place and if more likely than not, the individual accused has some sort of connection to it. It is not a determination of guilt. At that preliminary hearing or summary stage, an arraignment takes place where bail may or may not be set.
It’s important to have the proper representation so that an individual would not have to sit in custody awaiting trial because the bail was set too high. Having an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney on your side makes all the difference.
Once the preliminary hearing is completed, the matter moves on to a second arraignment in the Court of Common Pleas and then ultimately to trial in Doylestown, the county seeks out the resources of the Court of Common Pleas.
There, an individual can have their case heard before a judge with or without a jury. Again, it’s the use of an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney that can guide a person through this complex system. It’s at that Court of Common Pleas level that all programs in diversionary acts can be put forward to benefit an individual charged with a crime. All first time offender programs and treatment programs can be involved.
Without the assistance of an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney on your side, a lot of those alternatives to trial may not be known or offered to you. So, it’s important at all times that you know your counsel knows the system and you know that every option available to you is being offered to you.
Some common misconceptions about Miranda rights involve the fact that an individual charged with a crime was not read their rights. In many cases if an individual is not read their rights it is because they were not in custody when they made incriminating statements. Miranda rights only apply once someone has been taken into custody meaning they are not free to leave. However, once an arrest is made then a person has the right to remain silent and the right to counsel.
If the case involves a stop or a theft and the individual does not give a statement to police, then Miranda does not apply because there’s no statement that was taken in an unconstitutional way.
During the arrest process in Bucks County, some of the most common mistakes to avoid include not obtaining the services of an experienced Bucks County lawyer at the earliest possible time. That includes making statements to police officers or investigating authorities involving a particular investigation or case. Making such statements without the advice of an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney could be detrimental to a person’s future and detrimental to any defense in a criminal action in the future.
After retaining the services of an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney, the attorney can work on obtaining all of the information for his or her client. That way, the client avoids any mistakes that could later hinder a defense or lead to a conviction. Additionally, resources such as investigatory services and/or 911 calls and things of that nature should be preserved with the use of an attorney.
An individual is incapable of preserving certain elements that may help them to not incriminate themselves and help them to be found not guilty, in cases where these forms of evidence or defenses are lost. There is a time limit for obtaining certain resources and information. If those time limits are not met, that information is not preserved. A person charged with a crime in Bucks County could not use them in their defense.
Therefore, obtaining the services of an experienced Bucks County criminal defense attorney is of the utmost importance when it comes to beginning the defense of a case in Bucks County.
David Clark Attorney at Law