It is a common misconception that an arrest always leads to jail. But if you have been arrested in Fairfax, it doesn’t automatically mean that you will be taken into custody. In Virginia, depending on the type and severity of the offense, you may be transported to jail or released on a “summons,” which is commonly referred to as a ticket in many other states.
What Can You Be Arrested For in Virginia?
The list of things you can be arrested for across the United States, and in Virginia, is almost endless. In VA, a crime was reported every one minute and 24 seconds in 2019 alone. Whether you’ve been charged with Reckless Driving or DUI, Domestic Assault and Battery, or any Felony, when you’ve been placed under arrest it is in your best interest to seek immediate legal counsel.
Summons Vs. Formal Arrest
As mentioned earlier, being arrested and being taken into custody are not the same. Few people realize that even being stopped and ticketed for speeding constitutes an “arrest”. However, in this scenario, you are arrested and quickly released with a summons (the speeding ticket). Sometimes you can be charged, arrested, placed in custody and subsequently released with a bond from the magistrate. This is common in most DUI cases, some misdemeanors and lower-level felony charges.
Referred to as a ticket in many states, a summons in Virginia will specify the offense of which you are accused and the date and time for your court appearance. Whether the summons is for speeding, reckless driving, DUI, or another misdemeanor crime, such as public intoxication, it is essential to show up to court for your scheduled appearance. Failure to do so will only make your situation worse. In Fairfax, the court is empowered to issue an arrest warrant for failing to appear. This often leads to a second arrest which could have easily been avoided with the help of an attorney.
Even minor offenses can quickly spiral out of control without the guidance of a trusted lawyer. Unless you have extensive knowledge of criminal law, it is virtually impossible to ensure that your rights and best interests are protected in a criminal case without legal counsel by your side.
If you’ve been arrested for a more serious offense, you may be taken into custody and transported to jail. This constitutes a formal arrest. It is important to remember that whether you’ve been released with a summons or placed under formal arrest for a violent offense, you have legal rights. If the police violated those constitutional rights, associated evidence may be deemed inadmissible, and it may be possible to have the charges against you reduced or dropped. Contact an experienced Fairfax criminal defense attorney today if you’ve been charged with any type of crime.
What Are My Rights After Being Arrested?
When it comes to any legal matter, the general rule of thumb is to remain silent until you’ve been able to speak with your attorney. This is particularly true if you are placed under arrest, whether you’ve been issued a summons or taken into custody.
If you’ve watched any crime drama you will be familiar with the phrase, “You have the right to remain silent…” That’s called the Miranda Warning. It exists to prevent criminal suspects from accidentally incriminating themselves by saying too much or saying the wrong thing. It also protects you from police tactics designed to get you to confess or otherwise make inconsistent sounding statements that could actually strengthen the case against you. If you have been arrested, you must provide minimal information, such as your name, age, and address, but nothing more.
The Miranda Warning must be recited by police to any criminal suspect who is placed under arrest and expected to be interrogated under custody. If the suspect is arrested but not taken into custody or interrogated, the Miranda warning does not need to be given. An “Interrogation” involves more than simply asking your name and address, though. That’s just simple “questioning.” To “Interrogate” someone, means to ask questions that the questioner has reason to believe will further inculpate the suspect in criminal wrongdoing. So, simple questions can be asked and responded to. However, if circumstances change and police later decide to interrogate the suspect, the warning must be recited before the interrogation begins.
If you are arrested in Fairfax, or any other place in the United States, police must recite the following to a suspect before interrogating them:
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand the rights I have just read to you? With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”
If the police fail to recite the Miranda Warning before interrogating someone in a criminal case, any evidence and statements made related to that evidence may be deemed inadmissible, and the charges may be reduced or dismissed entirely. Furthermore, if the suspect CLEARLY indicates that they wish for the questioning to stop, or they want to invoke their right to remain silent, the interrogation must cease immediately. Whether you have just been placed under arrest, or you’ve already been charged, it is in your best interest to say as little as possible until you’ve had a chance to consult with your VA defense attorney.
In addition to reading the Miranda Warning, police must also:
- Inform you of the charges against you;
- Identify themselves; and
- Allow you to call an attorney and your family.
How Long Until You Are Released After Being Arrested?
The amount of time between arrest and release is largely dependent on whether or not you are charged, and the type and severity of the charges against you. Once you are taken into custody and booked, you may be offered bail. If you accept the offer and pay the bail or are released on your own recognizance (no money exchanged), you may go directly home. In some cases, bail will not be offered, and you will need to remain in jail until arraignment.
Bail vs Bond
Depending on the type and severity of your crime, and whether or not you are considered to be a flight risk, you may be released on bail, or bail may be denied. Bail is a monetary fee set by the court that must be paid in exchange for your release. This amount is typically significant and will not be returned if the defendant fails to show up for scheduled court hearings.
A bail bond is the cash payment that secures a defendant’s release from jail. Since most defendants are unable to cover the bail on their own, many use the services of a bail bondsman, a third party who posts the bond for bail on the defendant’s behalf.
Contact a Fairfax Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you have been arrested in Fairfax and charged with any type of criminal offense, the skilled legal team at The NoVa Law Firm can help. We will review your case, determine the best legal strategy for moving forward, and ensure that you fully understand your rights and options. Contact The NoVa Law Firm today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.