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Can you be charged, convicted , and sentenced for a felonly without ever being arrested?

Point Pleasant, WV |
Filed under: Criminal defense

A friend of mine was convicted of cultivation of pot. She was indicted and tried in federal court but she was never arrested. She is now serving 5 yrs in at Alderson. Isn't strange she never was arrested?

Attorney Answers 2


Actually, no. It's not strange that they were never arrested. It's not the usual route, I'll admit. Most people that are facing felony charges are in fact arrested at some point prior to charges being filed. Your friend could have been put on notice of the charges, gone in and arranged a release bond, then gone all the way through trial without having been formally arrested.

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" Actually, no" are you saying if i have not been areested that i can not be tried and convicted. Because i was not put on nottice and did not obtain a release bond.

Joseph Briscoe Dane

Joseph Briscoe Dane


Sorry if I wasn't clear. I was saying no, it's not strange that they were never arrested. Here's another example timeline that does not involve an arrest: Police get a report of some sort of felony. We'll say embezzlement. They investigate and even obtain a statement from the accused over the phone. They write up their report and send it to the DA. The DA files charges and sends a notice to appear (courtesy letter). The defendant shows up in court, is arraigned and released on their own recognizance. They go the entire court process until it resolves (and in your question, they are convicted). If they are sentenced to serve time, they are remanded into custody. That isn't even technically an arrest, but instead a remand. That person went through the entire process without ever being arrested.


I agree with Mr. Dane that this is unusual, but very possible. Most folks get arrested for an offense, some do not. I have some clients who arrange "no-arrest" bonds so they dont get arrested. Basically, we find out about the charges, and set up a bond through a bonding company prior to arrest and they promise to appear in court, so no arrest is necessary.

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