What happens once you have been arrested? How long can the police keep you in custody? When will I be released? These are common questions that come up regularly. It is understandably frightening to be arrested and not know what’s ahead. Fortunately, the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure provide a timeline which all police officers are required to follow.
Timeline of The Arrest Process
Once you are arrested, an initial appearance must occur in front of a judge within 24 hours of the arrest. An initial appearance is a court proceeding wherein a judge determines if there is probable cause for the arrest, what release conditions are appropriate, and sets the case for a preliminary hearing. This is a crucial stage of the proceedings, as often this is your only opportunity to address your release conditions, barring a change in circumstances. If you are arrested and scheduled for an initial appearance you should make every attempt to contact an attorney to guide you through the process.
If an initial appearance does not occur within 24 hours of your arrest, then you must be immediately released from custody.
What Should I do if I am Arrested?
There are three very simple pieces of advice to follow if you find yourself placed under arrest or even just questioned by the police:
Don’t answer any questions. Invoke your right to remain silent by saying “I am exercising my right to remain silent.”
Ask for an attorney. Invoke your right to an attorney by saying “I am not answering any questions without an attorney present.”
Ask to speak to an attorney. Ask to speak to an attorney until you are given a chance to call one, and then actually call an attorney who can advise you of what you should and should not do.
Contact a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney Immediately
If you or a loved one has been arrested, then you are entering a crucial part of your criminal proceedings. Much can be done at this early stage if you get an attorney on board. Call the Phoenix criminal lawyers at AZ Defenders at (480) 456-6400 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation so we can figure out how to best help you and tailor a defense specific to your case.