Below, an Arlington criminal lawyer discusses criminal investigations in Arlington including which agencies are typically involved and when is the best time to seek legal representation. For further questions schedule a consultation with an attorney today.
In Arlington, the primary law enforcement agency is the Arlington County Police Department. In Arlington, they handle approximately 90% of the arrests made here.
Being so close to Washington D.C. and having access to national parks means that sometimes federal agents will also have jurisdiction Arlington. Additionally, park rangers, animal control officers, and even the Arlington County division of zoning has the power to make arrests. Arlington also includes Ronald Reagan National Airport so Airport Authority officers and TSA agents sometimes make arrests that end up in Arlington courts. For crimes committed on or near Metro property, police officers employed by Metro Transit Police Department will have arrest power.
There are also multi-jurisdictional task forces that, particularly in drug, trafficking and large-scale financial crimes, involve people from numerous law enforcement agencies including United States Postal Service, the FBI, the DEA and other federal agencies who can make arrests in Arlington.
There is a wide variety of law enforcement agents who can make arrests and enforce the law in Arlington. It’s not like a small town in the middle of nowhere with a five-member police department. Arlington is a metropolitan area with numerous people protecting the citizens and you can run into any of those law enforcement agencies if you are being arrested in Arlington.
You can contact an attorney at any point in the process that you wish. with the exception being that an officer who is controlling a situation does not have to urgently meet your demand to speak with an attorney.
Once the officer has done his investigation, made his arrest, taken you jail or released you, you can ask to speak to an attorney. They do not have to run and get you an attorney but there are consequences sometimes if they don’t. For example, if they begin asking you questions in a custodial setting (which has been defined in case law) and you request for an attorney, the officer must stop asking you questions or else the evidence will get suppressed at trial.
In practice, it depends on the officer who is investing or booking you on the charge. However, in theory, can speak to counsel at any point in the process as it comports with the officer’s need to control the situation.