The arrest process is a crucial step in any criminal case. It is the point at which law enforcement officers take a suspect into custody and the legal proceedings begin.
However, the arrest process is not foolproof and the arresting officers can make mistakes. These missteps can significantly impact the outcome of a criminal case, as a defense attorney may use them to their client’s advantage.
1. Failure to obtain a warrant
A warrant is a legal document issued by a judge that authorizes police officers to make an arrest. In some cases, law enforcement may fail to obtain a required warrant, thus making the detention unlawful.
2. Lack of probable cause
During an arrest, law enforcement officers may search the suspect and the immediate area for weapons or other evidence. They must have probable cause or a warrant to search. If the search is illegal, the court may suppress any evidence obtained and dismiss the charges.
3. Violation of Miranda rights
Law enforcement officers must inform the suspect of their Miranda rights when making an arrest. This includes information such as the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. If the police do not read the Miranda warning or fail to provide it correctly, a defense attorney can challenge the admissibility of the suspect’s statements.
4. Excessive use of force
If necessary, the police can use reasonable force when making an arrest. However, if the officers use excessive force while arresting someone, the lawyer may move to dismiss the charges and the arresting officer may face legal consequences.
Looking for mistakes in the arrest process can help protect the accused’s rights and significantly impact the case outcome.