What Does It Mean to Be in Police Custody?
Do you know someone who the police have just arrested? Whether it is you or someone you know, being in police custody is an unnerving experience.
Being taken into police custody can mean several things. The nature of police custody goes beyond detention. As law enforcement personnel take someone into their custody, the arrested still retains certain rights. Also, police custody presupposes the provision of information leading to the arrest or detention.
One of the first elements of being taken into police custody is knowing your rights. Under the law, officers who perform an arrest must inform suspects of their rights. In the context of police custody, these rights are none other than Miranda Rights.
Miranda Rights protect individuals from self-incrimination. This is why arresting officers tell suspects that certain actions and statements can be used in court.
Besides protecting an individual from self-incrimination, Miranda Rights also include terms for seeking legal counsel. The Rights provide that arrested persons can seek legal counsel regardless of whether they can afford one or not. Miranda Rights also allow arrested individuals with legal counsel to have the lawyer present during police questioning.
When an individual is taken into custody, they need to be made fully aware of their Miranda Rights. Any failure to read arrested individuals’ rights constitutes illegal detention.
Does Being in Police Custody Mean Being Taken to Prison?
The answer is “no.” There is a difference between being taken into police custody and being taken to prison. Police custody is necessary for either investigation or temporary detention for minor offenses.
In Philadelphia and any other part of the United States, going to prison only happens after a conviction. Convictions come after a judicial ruling. Between a judicial ruling and an arrest, there are still several steps that do not always lead to a criminal conviction of the arrested person.
If you or someone you know has been detained for a crime, having a criminal defense lawyer will be helpful.
What Are the Elements of Police Custody?
The following are the elements of being legally taken into police custody:
Being Read Your Rights
As mentioned earlier, officers need to read you your Miranda Rights before arresting you. You can exercise your right to hire a criminal defense lawyer.
Information on the Reason for Your Arrest
Officers need to inform you of why you are being detained. Police officers cannot arrest you for no reason. The only time they can make an immediate arrest is when they see you committing a crime on the spot.
Restrictions on Your Movement
During the arrest, an officer restricts movement with the use of handcuffs. The police station creates a blatter of an individual’s arrest before the individual is taken to a holding cell. Within the holding cell, individuals have freedom of movement within supervision.
Taken Into Police Custody? Call a Criminal Defense Lawyer
A criminal defense lawyer in Philadelphia can be immensely helpful during your detention. Should matters escalate to a trial, later on, you will be glad you called one.
For legal counsel and representation that has your best interests at its core, call us at Brennan Law Offices.