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What to do after you are arrested?

Los Angeles, CA |

If a person is arrested for PC 647 (b), what are that person's right? In Los Angeles, for instance, officers take a picture of the defendant with the undercover police officer 10 to 20 minutes later after that person has been arrested. I am not talking about the mugshot--which I believe is mandatory for misdemeanors and felonies--but a picture that is used for court purposes and which is supposed to be taken when you are arrested but is done later. Could the defendant refuses to take that picture? Or would police officers force the defendant to stand up next to the undercover police officer?
Also, how do you contact a lawyer if you do not have any lawyer's number or if you do not have anyone who is willing to reach one for you? Should you just stay in jail until you see a public defender?

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Attorney answers 5


I have handled quite a few 647(b) cases in Los Angeles and I know the photograph you are talking about - it is usually a full-length photograph of you to show how you were dressed. Can you refuse to submit to such a photograph? Sure, but there is no right to refuse to submit, such as for example a Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination because a photograph is not considered testimonial (because one cannot cross-examine a photograph). Can police officers force the suspect to stand up next to the undercover cop? Yes, but this is more testimonial in nature as it tends to suggest so many things. How to contact a lawyer? Call someone you trust and have that person either give you an attorney's number later or have that person hire an attorney for you.



I see, however, is it legal for the police officer to change her attire for the photograph. For instance, if the undercover officer was wearing provocative clothes when it met the defendant, but at the time the picture was taken she wear plain clothing.


You may find the following link on that CA charge and the contact telephones helpful for your present situation:

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You (or someone you trust) should contact a lawyer. Many of us on Avvo provide a free consultation. And yes, you can refuse to have your photograph taken but the police can take the photograph with or without your consent. It does not necessarily implicate any constitutional rights.


Your lawyer will have to put these things in context for anyone who views the photograph. If you are not released on OR after such an arrest, you can call the bail commissioner and try to get bail reduced, then post bail. You definitely want to get a lawyer involved as early as possible. At this point, it looks like you've got access to plenty of lawyers. Call a few and discuss your case, their fees, etc.


Nicholas M. Loncar, Esq.
t: 323.803.4352 | f: 323.617.3838
Sunset Law Building | 1295 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA | 90027


If you have internet access, which you do, contact some local criminal lawyers

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