When law enforcement suspects that you have committed a crime in Philadelphia, they will try to gather more information and evidence that you did the deed. If they think they are able to turn that suspicion into probable cause, they will detain you and make an arrest.
There are two ways for this arrest process to happen in Philadelphia, though: you can be arrested by a police officer at the scene of a crime after that officer's immediate suspicion of a possible crime, or you can be arrested pursuant to an arrest warrant that culminated after a longer investigation period that you might not have known about.
In many situations, police officers arrest suspects on or near the scene of the alleged crime and in the immediate aftermath of it. Arrests like these are especially prominent in allegations of violent crimes, though the list includes others, as well:
The scene is simple: often, the officer is on patrol when he or she either sees suspicious activity directly or gets a message from the dispatcher to respond to an incoming 911 call. The officer responds, arrives on the scene, and either sees an altercation or possible criminal activity going on, or the immediate aftermath of it. After, in theory, deescalating the situation, the officer interviews the people in the area to learn about what happened before arresting someone that seems to have broken the law. In some cases, the officer sees potential criminal activity, firsthand, and makes the arrest based on what they perceived.
After making the arrest, the officer transports the detained suspect back to the police precinct, where they are booked.
Arrests Via Warrant
Arrests can also happen after an arrest warrant has been issued.
From a suspect's perspective, all that you are likely to experience is a knock on your door from the police, who have the warrant on hand and are there to execute it by taking you into custody and down to the precinct.
From the perspective of law enforcement, warrants are the final stage in what is often a long investigation by detectives and investigators. This gathered enough evidence that, when prosecutors asked a judge or magistrate for an arrest warrant, the judge agreed with them that there was probable cause to suspect that a crime had been committed. After signing off on the warrant, the prosecutors handed it off to the police to execute.
Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph D. Lento Serves Philadelphia
Arrests can be traumatizing, especially if you have never been through one, before. It is important to remember, though, that they are only the beginning of the criminal justice process, and that they only mean that law enforcement suspects you of committing a crime – they are still a far cry from a conviction.
Nevertheless, an arrest is a critical time to get an attorney involved to help. Reach out to Joseph D. Lento, Philadelphia's criminal defense attorney, by contacting him online or by phone at 215-535-5353.