How does the arrest in the USA work?
Just because a police officer stops you on the road doesn’t mean you’ll find yourself in handcuffs at the nearest police station.
When you are stopped by the police on the right side of the road, it will usually be a matter of a few minutes. You will simply have to stay in place and carry out the orders , and soon you will be free to return home. Unless, after a long discussion, checks and calls, you are not invited to get on the car with the flashing lights … In this case there is a burning smell!
1 – Arrest
In the event of arrest, the police officer will have to explain your rights before the interrogation, the so-called rights of Miranda (Miranda Rights), which date back to 1966 following a decision by the US Supreme Court in Arizona and state how much follows:
- An arrested person has the right to remain silent
- Everything you say can be used against you in court
- The arrested person has the right to be represented by a lawyer and, if he cannot afford it, the State will place a public defense lawyer at his disposal.
The police officer is responsible for ensuring that the arrested person understands these warnings and rights. Then he can ask if he has something to say.
The arrested person has every reason to assert his rights and not to answer questions from the police , except, of course, for his identity, age and address. The police must stop asking questions when a person appeals to his rights.
Instructions to appear in court
In the event that a person is suspected of having committed a minor offense , an order may be issued to appear in court (the so-called Notice to Appear in Court) on a certain date, instead of being arrested.
However, this does not apply if:
- The person who refuses to provide his identification data to the police officer
- The police officer has reason to believe that leaving the person at liberty can be risky for herself or for others
- The person has no ties with the American community,
- The police officer suspects that the wanted person has committed other crimes
- It appears that the person has already refused to appear in court or failed to comply with the terms for his release pending trial in another case.
2 – Incarceration
The incarceration process takes place at the police station by an officer.
The police officer will examine the facts to determine again whether a notice to appear in court is more appropriate.
In particular, the factors that will be taken into consideration are:
- The residence of the person and his life within the American community
- The family ties of the person in the American community
- His work and his previous occupations
- His mental condition
- Your criminal records
- His previous convictions and court appearances
The person can be examined. Once again, he will have the right to remain silent until his lawyer arrives, appealing to his rights (Miranda Rights) at the time of arrest.
The police can search it, as well as take fingerprints and take pictures of it. Only after these formalities will the person arrested be locked up in the cell.
3 – Release and deposit
The rule is that the detained person must appear before a judge within 24 hours of his arrest (First Appearance).
During this hearing, the judge sets the charges and determines whether the police have a valid reason to justify arresting the person. In this case, the judge can ask the person if he wishes to be represented by a lawyer or if, in the case of lack of resources, he prefers to make use of a public defense lawyer.
Furthermore, again on this occasion, the judge determines whether the prisoner can be released in exchange for a deposit .
But it is important to know that, in the United States, this does not happen in all cases. Indeed, it is not possible for serious crimes, which even include life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Once the deposit is established, the person can contact a family member or a private company to obtain a loan in order to arrange the payment of the deposit.
In determining the amount, the judge must ensure that the accused is present in court , as expected.
If the judge determines that it is not a serious crime and has the certainty that the accused will appear in court anyway, as requested (or a person will guarantee his appearance in court) the judge also has the possibility to release the accused without bail. In this case, we talk about Release on Your Own Recognition (ROR), ie release based on a guarantee given by the promise made to the court.
4 – The DUI (Driving while intoxicated)
If you started driving after drinking too much on Friday night, here are the consequences!
The police do not usually stop motorists at random on the road, but only if they have a reason to suspect that the driver is drunk or for any traffic offense .
And so, what can only be a small infraction can turn into a much more serious crime.
The DUI (drink driving) is established:
- With a breathalyzer
- With the analysis of urine or blood performed at a later time
- Proving that the driver’s physical abilities were compromised with a sobriety test
The Sobriety Test
The police will ask the driver to perform a series of physical exercises , especially balance, which could betray his condition. The person may refuse to take this test. Moreover, always on this occasion, the alcohol test will be performed with the breathalyzer.
The consequences of DUI
License suspension : refusal to undergo alcohol testing (or urine or blood test), or the fact that it is later determined that the alcohol level in the driver’s blood was 0.08gr / 100ml or more, leads to a suspension of the driving license for a period of 6 to 18 months. The interested party can contest the decision within 10 days before the declaration of suspension by the Department of Road Safety and motor vehicles (Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles).
Arrest : If the police have sufficient evidence that the driver was drunk, during the arrest he will mention I Miranda Rights. The person will be taken to the police station for an alcohol test or, in the case of an accident with injuries, can be taken to the hospital, where blood tests will be performed. In some counties, the arrest process for a DUI is videotaped and the defendant is entitled to a copy of this video.