In Virginia, arrests can either be a physical arrest when they put you in handcuffs and bring you back to the precinct or station, or an arrest by summons where you sign the summons promising to appear in court. Either way, it is important that those arrested understand what to expect and put forth the strongest possible defense to mitigate the damage. To learn more or begin planning your defense, call and schedule a consultation with an Arlington criminal defense attorney today. An experienced attorney will be able to help you navigate through the legal process while also preparing you for all the potential outcomes of the case.
For a traffic violation or smaller misdemeanors, the police officer will give the individual a summons and release them on their own promise to appear. When the summons is signed and the individual promises to appear in court then the officer must release them pursuant to the Virginia code. Technically this still counts as an arrest, even though they weren’t put in handcuffs or put in the back of a police cruiser.
Instead what those who sign a summons should expect is to be released and then be required back in court in a month or two for arraignment. This type of arrest is most common in traffic cases and other low level misdemeanors. With that said, if the individual is intoxicated they will not be released on a summons.
The other type of arrest, which takes place for something like a DUI or a felony or another crime for which the code does not allow release on summons, is a physical arrest where the individual is handcuffed and taken into custody. In these cases one can expect the police to ask the individual to put their hands behind their back, a search of the individual and the vehicle will likely occur, and they will be put in a police vehicle and driven to the police station of whatever precinct of jurisdiction they are in.
Those who are physically arrested and taken into custody will then be searched and brought in front of a magistrate. The magistrate is a neutral detached individual who will make the determination of whether the probable cause exists.
The magistrate will get the charges against the individual and either set a bond or hold them without a bond. The individual will then be taken to a cell, where they will stay unless they are bonded out with a promise to appear in court. If the person cannot make a bond they will stay in a cell or various cells until they go to their first court date.
On the first court date the court will appoint the individual an attorney unless they have hired their own. A bond motion can then take place, which will hopefully reduce your bond making it easier to get out until your trial or preliminary hearing date.
One big mistake that anyone arrested should avoid is simply hiring an attorney because they are the cheapest. There are various levels of quality and experience and individuals need to ensure they are selecting the one that is right for them. This doesn’t necessarily mean hiring the most expensive attorney either but instead finding the one that is right for that particular situation and that individual person.
Another mistake that people make when choosing an attorney is listening to other people’s outcomes or recommendations who give them full credit and expect the same thing. Each case is different. A person may have a good experience with a bad attorney and just because it happened it doesn’t mean that you should make the decision to go to the same attorney. You should do your research and not just jump into the conclusion. Make sure you are comfortable. Make sure that you fully explore all the options available and make sure that your attorney is the best for you.