Drug Arrests in Alameda County
People facing drug arrests in Alameda County should not hesitate to seek legal representation. While an arrest does not mean you are guilty of the crime, it could still have harsh personal and professional ramifications. Furthermore, a conviction could result in incarceration, fines, and other legal penalties. If you or your loved one was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, a dedicated defense attorney could help.
Arrest Procedure in Alameda County
Arrests for drug related charges are not significantly different procedurally than arrests for non drug offenses. There are four ways that people come to be arrested:
- The police had a warrant for the defendant’s arrest
- Law enforcement developed probable cause that the alleged defendant committed a felony. This can occur without an arrest warrant.
- The officer has probable cause to believe the individual committed a criminal act in the officer’s presence. This can occur without an arrest warrant.
- The individual committed a felony outside the officer’s presence which can also occur without an arrest warrant
The law enforcement is in the position of either having developed probable cause and effectuating an arrest on somebody, or they have applied for and been granted an arrest warrant signed by a judge. Usually if somebody is arrested on a warrant, it means that there has been evidence collected that can be described in an affidavit that establishes probable cause for an arrest warrant to be issued by a judge.
The other scenario involves being arrested after law enforcement established probable cause for an arrest. There are a number of reasons why an officer might place somebody under arrest or think that they are particularly dangerous. For instance, if the defendant is likely to flee, police might immediately detain that person. A detention is not the same as an arrest, but rather a temporary holding of somebody while officers conduct an investigation.
Are All People at the Scene of a Drug Arrest at Risk of Facing Consequences?
If the names listed on the arrest warrant include other people at the scene, then they are also at risk of facing some consequences. However, if somebody is a bystander, then he or she is not necessarily going to be arrested. Bystanders might be detained for a little while and questioned, but their presence at the scene is incidental. If they were not involved in the criminal act, then it is unlikely they will face any legal consequences.
Constitutional Rights During an Arrest
People have several extremely important rights at the time of a drug related offense. First and foremost, they have the right to remain silent, not give a statement to police officers, even if they have not been read their Miranda rights. Reading of the Miranda rights is something that happens when somebody is being subjected to custodial interrogation. But there is often a period of time, ranging anywhere from a couple of minutes to a couple of hours, where somebody is simply “detained.”
During a detention, officers might be asking them questions. They are trying to investigate and develop a probable cause. At that point, people should ask if they are being detained or if they are free to go. If they are being detained, they should discontinue talking to the officers.
People are required to answer some basic identifying questions, such as their name and date of birth. They should provide identification if asked.
In addition to the right of silence, people arrested for drug charges have the right to an Alameda County attorney. It is important to exercise these rights in order to avoid self-incrimination.
What Happens After an Arrest for Drug Related Charges?
If someone is being arrested for a felony drug related charge, he or she is going to be booked into the county jail and arraigned on his or her charges. After arraignment, people either are released under their own recognizance or given a bail amount.
If people are arrested on a misdemeanor, they will likely be issued a citation and released, which is where the officer writes up a ticket for misdemeanor possession of an illegal substance. The ticket has a date by which they are expected to come to court and enter their plea at their arraignment.
Discuss Drug Arrests with an Alameda County Attorney
Although drug arrests in Alameda County do not necessarily mean a guilty verdict, they should still be taken seriously. Without the help of an experienced lawyer, you could face serious personal, professional, and legal consequences.
If your loved one was recently arrested on a controlled substance charge, or if you want to learn more about the arrest process, call our office now.