How do I find someone who has been arrested? Where is he/she being held in custody? What is the procedure for getting someone released? These are all valid questions for how the New York arrest process works. The arrest process comes in many shapes and sizes, all dependent on the purported crime and the circumstances of your situation. Call the Kushner Law Group if you have been arrested in New York. We can help protect your rights. The following will give you a general idea of what to expect when arrested in New York City.
What Happens When Someone is Arrested
Usually when a defendant is arrested, he or she is taken to the precinct where the arrest was made for processing into the system. At the precinct the defendant will be searched for all personal items such as keys, wallet, jewelry etc. including any unlawful items (contraband) that the defendant may have on him/her. Lawful items will be held for safe keeping while the defendant is in custody. The defendant will be given a voucher detailing all the personal items in police safekeeping. The defendant will be able to retrieve the personal items with the voucher once released. Remember to keep account of the voucher number and the name and badge/shield number of the officer who provided the voucher. All items deemed contraband will be listed as “arrest evidence” and may be used in the prosecutions case against the defendant.
The defendant is required to provide their personal information known as the defendants’ “pedigree.” Pedigree information usually consists of the defendant’s:
3. Social Security Number
4. Date of Birth
If the charge against the defendant is a misdemeanor or felony, he/she will likely be photographed and fingerprinted. Defendants arrested for violations will likely not be fingerprinted or photographed. In some circumstances a defendant charged with a violation will be fingerprinted if the police:
1. Suspects the defendant of giving misleading information about their identity
2. The police are unable to establish the defendant’s identity
3. Suspects the defendant to be a wanted person on an open arrest warrant, court warrant, unpaid traffic ticket or summons
If there is an outstanding arrest warrant, the defendant may have to spend a longer period in custody in order for the police to locate the corresponding arrest warrant’s paperwork. In addition, if there is a warrant from another jurisdiction than the defendant may have to stay in detention after the arraignment to await transfer to that jurisdiction.
The defendant is than brought to a detention facility like Central Booking in Manhattan to await arraignment. In most instances in New York City the waiting period is 24 hours. The arraignment will be the first hearing before a judge who determines whether bail will be set for the defendant. In some instances the police may give the defendant a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT) in lieu of the detention period. Please refer to our discussion on DATs for more information.
If the defendant is not going to be released through a DAT, then he/she will then be transported to Central Booking located at the courthouse where the defendant will be arraigned. During the waiting period for arraignment, the defendant may be questioned by the Criminal Justice Agency. This is an independent agency that is responsible for making recommendations to the court on whether the defendant can be trusted to return to court without setting a bail or whether bail should be set. The Criminal Justice Agency will inquire into the defendant’s work history, family and business ties to the community. Please see our resources on arraignments for more information.
General Miranda Rights
Throughout this whole process, it is very important to understand the defendant’s Miranda Rights. Miranda Rights provide protections against self-incrimination if the individual is arrested and in a custodial setting. So when an individual is arrested, the police are required to let the individual know what their Miranda Rights are. Police officers are required to tell the individual that:
1. You have the right to remain silent;
2. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law;
3. You have a right to an attorney;
4. If you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you
The New York Arrest process can be a very confusing ordeal. Having an experience criminal attorney who understands the process is crucial to protecting your legal rights. Call the Kushner Law Group, we have the experience and strategies that can protect your rights.