How Long Can the Police Detain You Without a Charge?
Probable cause must be established in order for police to arrest an individual. Detainments, however, only require reasonable suspicions. The difference between being arrested and being detained is that the former means you are being formally charged with something, while the latter means you are being held. It is a temporary measure, usually done so that an investigation can take place. When appropriate, police may conduct a frisk search for weapons or other contraband they believe you have on your person.
How To Know If You’re Being Detained
When being questioned by police it can be difficult to immediately determine if you are being detained or not. If you ask whether or not you’re free to leave and are told no, you’re being detained. If you are told yes and don’t leave the scene, or don’t ask the question at all, the detention is considered voluntary.
If You Are
First and foremost know that even if you aren’t being arrested you still have your Miranda Rights. These rights are not always read to you when there is no formal charge or during an investigation, but this doesn’t mean that they do not apply. This is especially important to remember because if an arrest is later made, anything you said during detainment can be used against you The ‘right to remain silent’ doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest to say nothing at all. Rather, it means that it’s best to say nothing other than ‘I have the right to remain silent’ or ‘I won’t answer any questions without my lawyer present’.
How Long Will You Be Detained
The time will vary by the situation. Some things can impact the process such as whether or not you presented your ID. While you aren’t legally required to show ID during detainment, not doing so means they will need to take time to identify you. The maximum amount of time you can be in police custody without charges is 48 hours not including weekends or legal holidays; technically it can be up to 72 hours because of this.
You are entitled to legal advice and proper representation if you believe your detainment wasn’t handled in accordance with state and federal laws. Contact our criminal attorney in Philadelphia, Pa today and we’ll provide you with the best criminal defense attorney in Pa.