Written by attorney Paul J Adras

Probable Cause To Arrest

In order for you to be arrested, the arresting authority (usually a police officer in the jurisdiction you are in) must have probable cause to arrest. As a general rule, probable cause defined as (1) a police officer's reasonable belief that you have (2) committed a crime; or the officer at least has (1) a reasonable level of suspicion, supported by (2) circumstances sufficiently strong enough to substantiate a prudent/cautious officer's belief that (3) certain facts are true regarding the suspicious activity. If you are arrested, a police officer will transport you to a detention facility. Once you are at the detention facility, facility staff will take your photo gather your fingerprints (this is oftentimes referred to as the "booking" process). In many cases, the case begins when you receive a summons sent from the court. If your case begins with a summons, you may be required to report to the detention facility to submit to the procedures listed above (photos, fingerprints etc.). This is commonly referred to as a jail "walkthrough," or an own recognizance walkthrough, if you are not required to post bail. If you receive a summons to appear in court, you will normally be granted an own recognizance walkthrough and release after you complete the above procedures. The walkthrough booking process can take several hours to complete. Generally, family, friends, and lawyers can obtain information about an arrest by contacting the detention facility. To get the information, you will need the name, date of birth and social security number of the person arrested and you will need to provide this to the officer at the detention facility. By providing this information, you can minimize the chance of receiving misinformation regarding the status of a case.

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