Being placed under arrest for something as serious as a gun crime can be frightening especially if you are unsure of what to expect. With this in mind, the following is information on when gun arrests take place and what steps you or a family member should take. To learn more or begin building a defense, call and schedule a consultation with a DC gun lawyer today.
Arrests for gun charges can happen in a variety of different ways. Most commonly, however, these arrests take place at either traffic stops or through the investigation of another offense.
At traffic stops, law enforcement will sometimes pull someone over for DUI or another traffic violation and see a gun in plain view while talking with the driver. At this point, they may be able to search the car. Additionally, searches of vehicles can occur incident to arrest. That means under certain circumstances, when police make an arrest, officers are allowed to search the vehicle. When this happens, guns are sometimes discovered leading to gun charges.
Another way that gun arrests sometimes occur is through the investigation of another type of charge. For example, if the police are called to a domestic violence incident when someone calls the police and says there is a fight next door between a husband and a wife. The police arrive, enter the house and talk to the husband and wife, and a gun is discovered. An arrest could be made for that gun charge even if an arrest is not made for domestic violence.
Gun charges can also arise in the context of an armed robbery investigation. When someone calls the police and says that he was just robbed at gunpoint, the police come and find a person with a gun on them. That person is identified as being the one who committed the robbery. Gun charges can arise out of those circumstances.
If the investigation is for a series of straw purchases of firearms, the suspect may not be arrested immediately because there is an investigation that must be completed and the suspect might need to be interviewed. Law enforcement might interview someone well before they are ready to make an arrest to support their investigation.
On the other hand guns found at traffic stops or when there is a search of a home usually lead to an arrest at that specific time.
When you are arrested by local police, you are taken to one of seven Metropolitan Police District stations and processed. Your fingerprints and picture are taken; and the police will attempt to interview you. Under no circumstances should you ever participate in an interview with the police, and you should always contact an attorney before any questions are answered.
If you decide to give an interview to the police, you do so at your own peril. After the interview is attempted, you are brought from the police district to the Central Cell Block. This is a detention facility underneath the main Metropolitan Police Station at 300 Indiana Avenue, NW. If you are arrested early enough in the morning, before six in the morning, you will probably go to court that day. You must be brought to court by the 10:00 AM cutoff.
If you do not make it to court by 10:00 AM, you must wait a full day and then are brought to Superior Court the next day. At that point, if you are charged with certain felonies deemed to be crimes of violence or dangerous offenses, there is a hearing to determine whether you will be held for three more business days or be released at that point.
There is no set procedure and there is no law giving you a right to be able to contact a lawyer. Often, police allow you the opportunity to make a phone call. You should use that phone call to contact an attorney directly or someone you know who can contact the attorney.
If you contact someone you know, do not speak about the case with that person because nothing you say to that person is protected by a privilege. The only person you can talk to who can protect the information you provide is your attorney, through the attorney-client privilege. While you are at the police station, you should talk with an attorney, but not about the specifics of the case. That should wait until you are in a private setting.
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