Being charged with a criminal offense in Virginia is a serious matter. While misdemeanors are less serious than felony crimes, they are punishable by jail time, steep fines, and other penalties.
After being arrested and taken into police custody, at some point, you will appear before a magistrate who will determine your bail. Depending on the nature of your crime and whether you are a danger to society, your release may be denied.
To arrest a suspect without a warrant, police must have probable cause that they have engaged in criminal activity. An officer has probable cause to arrest when they have reasonable grounds to believe that the law was being violated. Specifically, the Virginia court system explains that probable cause exists when there is “a reasonable ground of suspicion, supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a prudent and cautious man to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense with which he is charged.”
Every day thousands of active warrants are issued across the country. Because there are so many active warrants, and the police have no obligation to inform people when they have a warrant out for their arrest, many people have no idea they have a warrant and continue living their normal lives until one day they arrested.
Being arrested or detained by the police can be a stressful experience, especially if you don’t know why you were stopped, or you believe you haven’t done anything wrong.
Being stopped or pulled over by the police in public while operating a vehicle can be a scary experience. However, knowing the best way to react to a police stop and understanding your rights during such situations can be very helpful.