Being arrested in Delaware County, PA can be an intimidating and scary experience. If you find yourself in this situation, it's important that you gain an understanding of what this system entails, and how to effectively navigate it.
In this article, we will address what to expect when arrested, examples of a lawful arrest, and the important role an attorney plays throughout this process. For more information about the arrest process, or your specific case, contact experienced attorney Joseph D. Lento today.
What To Expect When Arrested
When an arrest is made in Delaware County, most suspects are granted an early release. An arrest doesn't always necessarily lead to being taken into custody and held on bail. In cases involving summary and misdemeanor charges, an individual will be taken into custody and only held until their information is obtained. At a later time, they'll be scheduled to attend an appointment for fingerprinting and photos.
People felonies and extensive records, however, are treated entirely differently. They have a higher chance of not being released without bond. In any case, after an appointment has been attended, a summons will be mailed to a defendant to attend court for a Delaware County Preliminary Hearing.
A Lawful Arrest in Delaware County
Determining if an arrest is lawful is an important part of any case. With the help of an experienced attorney, you can identify the specific details and circumstances of your arrest to identify if it was awful. But in general, a person can be lawfully arrested under several circumstances.
If an officer personally witnessed someone allegedly committing a crime, he or she has the authority to apprehend the suspect and other participants involved in the criminal act based on this perception. For example, let's say an officer sees what appears to be a drug deal made on the street. The officer can arrest the parties involved for drug possession or sale.
A police officer can also arrest a person without actually witnessing a crime being committed. The only element needed to constitute a lawful arrest in these situations in probable cause. Probable cause exists when an officer has a reasonable belief - based on the facts and circumstances - that a person has committed, or is planning to commit a crime. For instance, let's say that an officer pulls over a vehicle that appears to be driving recklessly. The officer claims to smell alcohol on the breath of a suspect or in the car, notices that their eyes are bloodshot red, that they're slurring their words, and visibly nervous. This sole observation can substantiate the necessary probable cause for a DUI arrest.
A police officer can also arrest a person in Delaware County if a warrant has been issued for their arrest. A warrant is a legal document issued by a judge or magistrate that calls for the immediate arrest of a person who allegedly committed a crime.
Delaware County Criminal Defense Attorney
A common mistake that most people make is not retaining a criminal defense attorney soon enough. Once a person is arrested, everything they say or do can be held against them in a case. In order to maximize one's chances of a successful trial outcome, an attorney should be around to advise a defendant from the beginning, when a defendant is making statements to the police or investigators, to the end, when it comes time to defend them in a trial.
Joseph D. Lento has extensive experience helping countless clients with a misdemeanor and felony charges get their charges reduced and dismissed. Contact him online or give him a call at (215) 535-5353 at the earliest available opportunity for assistance.