Anne Arundel County Criminal Investigations and Arrests

Being the subject of Anne Arundel County criminal investigations and arrests could an overwhelming experience. While an individual is afforded numerous rights during arrests and investigations, they must tread carefully when exercising them. If you have been arrested or believe you are under investigation, speak with an accomplished defense attorney about your rights and legal options.

It is imperative for individuals in Anne Arundel County who are facing criminal charges to retain legal counsel. Defendants should know that they do not have to cooperate with or speak to police or any witnesses. Regardless of guilt or innocence, the judge or jury has the final decision over the outcome of the case.

Common Mistakes that Defendants Make When Facing Criminal Charges

Individuals facing criminal allegations often delay getting counsel and lose any chance of immediately preserving evidence or taking remedial action. People also often feel they are compelled to confess or give a statement to police, which is an inadvisable action. While they will have a chance to give a statement later, they cannot take back what was already done. Waiving the right to an attorney at the early stages should not be done. Therefore, when an individual is facing investigations and arrests in Anne Arundel County, they should seek the right to an attorney as soon as possible.

What to do When the Police Knock on Front Door

If the police do not have a warrant or if there is no investigation in progress, a person is not legally obligated to respond to a police knock or to answer their questions. It should be noted that while there are also no laws against being rude to a police officer, a person’s behavior could impact the court judgment if the judge hears about their rudeness directed at a police officer.

How to Say No to Letting the Officers Inside

The easiest way to say no to letting the officers inside is not answering the door. Even if the door is open, individuals are advised to not to let authorities inside. The police need some permission to enter another person’s home, which is what a search warrant gives them. It should be noted that an arrest warrant does not give the police free rein to do whatever they want.

Why Keep the Police From Entering a Home

A person should not let the police in even when they believe they have nothing to hide. If the police have an arrest warrant, they will be taken into custody. By the time this occurs, an attorney would have lost the ability to file a motion to get the warrant lifted. At a minimum, the attorney could arrange for the person to surrender. Turning one’s self into the authorities could go a long way in helping to procure their release at the bail hearing in front of a judge or a commissioner.

Rights When Stopped on the Street

If a police officer stops a person on the street pursuant to a mere “accosting,” the individual is free to leave and does not have to comport with the officer’s request to speak to them. An accosting is questioning by police without a warrant or any basis for arresting or detaining someone.  A person in this circumstance is not required to comply with their request. If an officer detains someone without arresting them, the would need “reasonable articulable suspicion.”

Officers could detain a person in such a circumstance. If there is probable cause that someone committed an offense, the authorities could effectuate an arrest. Barring those thresholds, any action that supersedes the basis or authority is considered an illegal stop, detention, or arrest could be challenged. Speak with a lawyer to learn more about one’s rights during Anne Arundel County investigations and arrests.

How to Avoid Answering an Officer’s Questions and Leave the Situation

If the police officers are accosting a person, the individual does not have to respond to their questions and needs no justification for the refusal. If the police walk by a person and detect the smell of marijuana, they may have reasonable suspicion for detaining someone. If they see a smoking device or paraphernalia sticking out of a person’s pocket, they may have probable cause to detain and/or arrest. However, in none of those situations is a person required to answer any questions if they do not wish to do so.

Differences Between Being in Custody, Detained, or Questioned

Whether a person is in custody, being detained, or just being questioned depends on how their freedom to leave is compromised. Being in custody is a broader term that includes being detained. With either one, a person is not free to leave. Being in custody could mean they are arrested while being detained is something short of arrest and is typically short in duration. Being arrested means more than being detained, and that there is sufficient evidence to effectuate an arrest.

Refraining From Consenting to a Police Search of a Vehicle

While a person could always refuse to consent to a police search of their vehicle, the police do not need their consent in certain cases. If someone who is pulled over for speeding smells of marijuana, the police have a right to conduct a search under the law and do not need the driver’s permission.

Impact of Not Giving Consent to a Search on a Case

If a person does not give consent to a search, it could have an impact on their case if the police conduct a search anyway. This may be challenged at trial. It should be noted that there are times when the police twist the facts in such a way to convince a judge that they had permission or a belief to look inside the individual’s vehicle.

Differences Between a Personal Search, Vehicle Search, and Search of a Person’s Home

A personal search, vehicle search, and a search of a person’s home are three separate and distinct areas of places to do a search. The distinction matters since there is an expectation of privacy for all three and an officer must have permission before searching. If the person leaves a box of trash on the street for pick-up, it is considered abandoned property. There is no expectation of privacy and the police could take the box and search it all they want without consent. To search the person, their car, or their home, officers need consent or a sufficient basis to believe that there is evidence.

It should be noted that an officer will typically not let a person know that they have the right to refuse a search. The person can consent or not consent after the officers will ask permission. Once they do consent, their chance to challenge the search later is gone.

Search Warrants

To conduct a search, the police need a search warrant as opposed to an arrest warrant. A search warrant is an application signed by a judge that permits the officers or law enforcement to search an area for which a person has an expectation of privacy. Authorities typically obtain a warrant if they make a showing of probable cause or if there was evidence of criminal activity in the location to be searched.

How Authorities Continue to Investigate After an Arrest

After an Anne Arundel County criminal arrest, authorities could search and talk to witnesses for their investigation. They could also pull videos, surveillance, and phone information. The police would need a separate warrant to search an individual’s phone.

An investigation after an arrest means the police are gathering evidence or any more information they can to support the state in the prosecution of a defendant.

In a criminal investigation after an arrest, the Anne Arundel County police are trying to be as thorough as possible by speaking to potential witnesses or photographing everything. Some officers have body cameras and will try to pursue all the evidence they are able to.

Typically, the investigation does not continue past the point of a person being in court or going to trial. Since the state has an obligation to disclose any evidence it has or intends to use in advance at trial, it cannot concoct new evidence without giving the defense ample opportunity to review and do its own investigation.

The Time Leading Up to an Arrest

If someone is charged and not arrested immediately because the police uncovered evidence of a crime, they will have issued a warrant for the person’s arrest. In the interim, most people do not know that warrants have been issued for their arrest. This makes it easier for the police to apprehend. During this time period, a person could be arrested and served with their criminal charges if they are ever stopped by the police. It does not matter how minor the stop was.

How to Know When an Arrest Will Occur

By design, a person will not know that they are going to be arrested. A warrant will be issued for their arrest and it is easier to apprehend them if they are not forewarned. It should be noted that a person could be warned if the police arrive at their home and their family says they are not there. Other times, a person may be told they have an outstanding warrant and a law enforcement hold in the system for them when they attempt to renew their license.

Arrest Process in Anne Arundel County

When a person is arrested and taken into custody in Anne Arundel County, they are transported to the local precinct or booking station. They will then be interviewed by intake. The interview is not about the case and is more a matter of where they live and work or go to school, whether they have any children, and other related questions.

Once an intake is done, they will see a commissioner after a few hours. The commissioner is not a judge or an attorney and is typically a public servant who will preliminarily review the case to see if it is appropriate to release that person or hold them on bond or without bond.

Any law enforcement agent from local police, a trooper, or the Department of Natural Resources is qualified to make an arrest if it is their jurisdiction.

If someone finds out about a warrant for their arrest, they could try to seek an attorney to help them address the warrant, try to get it removed, or arrange for the person to turn themselves in.

The only difference between being arrested before or after an indictment is that if the indictment was brought in circuit court, a district court commissioner cannot set a bond. In those situations, the person will typically have to appear before a circuit court judge for consideration of release.

What are Miranda Rights?

When it comes to Anne Arundel County criminal investigations and arrests, it is essential to understand the Miranda Rights. The Miranda rights are advisement that an individual must be provided before any interrogation if they are in custody. It would cover questioning by police of a defendant or questions designed to elicit an incriminating response. Informational questions about where they live, their age, name, and such are not incriminating questions.

Questions similar to who owns the drugs, where the gun is, and did the person hit someone, are incriminating. If someone is being detained, not necessarily arrested, the police are required to advise them that they do not have to speak to them or answer any questions without an attorney present. The defendant could waive their right if they wish. If Miranda rights are not read to them, any admissions or confessions they give could be excluded from prosecution or trial.

Common Misconceptions Surrounding Miranda Rights

The biggest misconception about Miranda Rights is that police are always required to give the warning. They are only required to give it if they are going to interrogate. A person who is caught red-handed with drugs on their person will be arrested, transported, booked, and processed without a Miranda requirement since they were not interrogated yet.

While people may think that all charges must be dismissed if there is a Miranda violation, this is also not true. Instead, what occurs is that any admissions or statements made in violation are excluded from the trial. If someone is caught with drugs on their person, a gun in their pocket and they admit the gun is theirs upon interrogation, this information could be excluded is the admission. However, the fact they had a gun in their pocket or drugs on their person is not excluded.

Common Mistakes to Avoid During the Arrest Process

Individuals should keep in mind that the police are not there to help them. They are engaging an arrest to assist the state and the prosecution and are not on the accused’s side. If the person provides statements, admissions, or confessions, the police will use that information against them. Consequently, it is critical not to speak about anything other than minor administrative things related to one’s workplace, where they live, and other short-answer questions.

Anything relating to the case is better not said. A defendant should request to speak to an attorney or have an attorney present for any questioning. If the accused person does so, the police are required to stop their line of questioning.

Opportunities to Surrender in Anne Arundel County

Individuals could surrender themselves if they know they were going to be arrested. They may find out on an online website, hear about it from a third party, or the police visit their home when they are not there. In those instances, individuals can arrange with counsel’s help if they want to and turn themselves into the custody of law enforcement to be processed and accept charging documents.

Surrendering can help a person’s case in several ways, beginning with the fact it has a bearing on the assessment of whether someone is safe to be released. One of the biggest concerns a judge has in deciding whether someone is released is whether they will show up for their court date or flee the state. If they turn themselves in, it is taken as an indication that they will show up or they would have tried to avoid being apprehended.

How a Criminal Defense Lawyer Could Help

An Anne Arundel County attorney could help when there is an investigation after a person has been arrested by challenging the legality of any search or seizure of evidence. If a statement was made without the person being Mirandized, an attorney could move to suppress the statement if it is incriminating. An attorney could be helpful in guiding someone through the process of challenging any deficiency in the case itself. A lawyer could also negotiate a favorable resolution of the charges in any event. Reach out to a dedicated attorney today if you are facing Anne Arundel County criminal investigations and arrests.