If you are under investigation for, or are charged with an illicit substance offense, it is essential to understand what to expect after a DC drug arrest. Following a charge, one should expect to be taken to a police station, fingerprinted, photographed, and interviewed. It is often advisable for an arrestee to immediately refuse the interview and state that they want a lawyer. They will then be taken to Central Cell Block, a holding facility, before they go to court for an initial hearing where they will be released or held.
During the arrest process, an arrestee enjoys certain legal rights. As a result, an experienced attorney could work with an accused individual to uncover any errors or omissions during the arrest process that may harm a prosecutor’s case, and guide them through each step of the ensuing case.
Following a drug arrest in DC, a person has certain constitutional rights. Because the District of Columbia does not have its own constitution, the relevant document outlining an arrestee’s rights is the U.S. Constitution.
Most importantly, an individual has the right to remain silent. An arrestee is often advised not speak to law enforcement, and they should understand that they cannot talk their way out of an arrest. One should avoid discussing anything with the police except providing their name, date of birth, social security number, and address.
A defendant also has the right to a lawyer, which they also should exercise. In fact, they should ask for an attorney as early in the arrest process as possible.
Anyone under investigation for a drug charge should never consent to a search of their vehicle or a pat down on their person. If a person is in a vehicle that is stopped on the street and a law enforcement officer asks for consent to search the vehicle, the person should always refuse.
Sometimes, an officer may suggest that they just want to pat someone down so they can let them go. If this is the case, the answer should be no. If an officer has to ask, that means, in their mind, they do not have good cause under the law to conduct a search. Instead, they try to get the person to consent on their own.
Similarly, if officers ask to search someone’s car, they do not believe they have probable cause to search it, so the person should not agree to the search. When there are passengers in the car, someone else used the car, or when the driver does not own the car, they have no idea what may be inside. As a result, consenting to a search could incriminate someone for an item or substance in a car that they had no knowledge of. No matter the circumstances, however, it is rarely in anyone’s best interest to agree to a search. Because of this, understanding what to do and what to expect after a drug arrest could be crucial for an individual’s proceeding case.
Upon arrest, a person is taken to a police station to be booked. Their photo and fingerprints are taken and they are placed in a holding cell and transferred over to Central Cell Block, which is another holding facility outside the courthouse. They are then placed in a cell and later taken to court.
When someone is taken to court for their initial hearing, they are usually handcuffed, and leg chains are placed on their legs. If the judge releases them at the initial hearing, the handcuffs and leg chains are removed and they are free to go until their next court date. If the judge holds the person, they are taken to the DC jail to be processed and held until their lawyer files a motion for release, at which point they are taken back to court for further proceedings.
Understanding what to expect after a DC drug arrest can be extremely helpful for anyone facing an illicit substance charge. Furthermore, knowing what to do and contacting a tenacious and seasoned lawyer could also be critical.
Because of the legal complexities involved with any case, having the help, knowledge, and skill of a dedicated attorney might prove essential at each step of the ensuing legal process. To learn more, reach out to a legal professional today.
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