Arrests, Warrants & Probable Cause Attorney in Boston and Quincy, MA
Know your rights if you are arrested from an experienced attorney
A criminal case begins when a person is arrested, or taken into custody because he or she is accused of committing a crime. The nature of the crime may vary, from a first-time DUI to a violent crime like aggravated assault. Law enforcement must have a warrant or probable cause to make an arrest.
An arrest warrant is a legal document issued by a judge that authorizes the arrest and detention of a certain person. Law enforcement may pursue an arrest warrant if they have reason to believe that a person has committed a crime, in which case they must present the judge with sufficient evidence to justify the warrant.
Probable cause is required to obtain an arrest warrant or to make an arrest in other circumstances, without a warrant. Generally speaking, probable cause can be defined as a reasonable and well-founded suspicion, based on an officer’s observations or on information provided by others to the police, that the person in question had committed or was committing a crime. The determination of probable cause is outlined in Massachusetts Criminal Procedure Rule 3.1.
Other Arrest Scenarios
A person may be arrested without a warrant, in specific scenarios. If a law enforcement officer observes a person committing a crime, he or she has the authority to detain that person. According to Massachusetts General Laws Part IV, Title II, Chapter 276, § 28, law enforcement officers are authorized to arrest and detain any person found in the act of stealing property, abuse, and assault and battery against a family member. Officers may make arrests without warrants if the officer has valid knowledge of a warrant against a person.
Your Rights if Arrested
If you are arrested, law enforcement has a duty to inform you of your rights. This is accomplished by way of the Miranda warning, which essentially states (with some variation depending on the jurisdiction):
- You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you understand these rights as I have read them to you?
Exercising these rights is one of the most important things you can do if you are ever arrested. Though it may be tempting to try to explain what occurred, any statements you make could be misconstrued as admissions of guilt or may be used to gather condemning evidence against you. Remain silent and demand an attorney. Involving a legal professional will help ensure that you have someone on your side. Law enforcement officers are not there to help you – they are looking for ways to put you behind bars. Call an attorney and make sure your interests are protected.
Arrested in Boston? You are in a precarious position, and the steps you take now may directly impact any future criminal charges and even the outcome of your case. Contact a Boston criminal defense lawyer at Keegan Law today to get guidance from a team that includes former police officers and a former prosecutor.