Can I Be Charged with a Crime Without Being Arrested

In movies and TV shows, arrests usually happen with a big display of flashing red and blue lights, leaving the suspect handcuffed and thrown to the ground. In reality, things don’t always happen that way.

While arrests are most often the first stage in the criminal process in Nevada, being charged with a crime may precede the arrest. Statute NRS 171.104 states that an arrest is when a person is taken into custody “in a case and in the manner authorized by law.” Arrests may be made by peace officers or private citizens.

When an arrest happens, police must read the suspect their Miranda rights at the time of arrest. Generally, police will ask a judge to issue an arrest warrant before the apprehension of a suspect, but these are not required if they have probable cause to believe someone has committed a crime.

What Happens During a Typical Arrest?

In most situations, the police officers will verbally inform you that you are under arrest and read you your rights. They will then place you in handcuffs and take you to the police station. At the station, you will be booked and have your mugshot and fingerprints taken.

If you are a suspect in a crime, you will remain in custody until you are released on bail or your own recognizance. You will likely be given a court date to return for the formal reading of your criminal charges, which is called an arraignment.

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However, there are many cases where a person could be charged with a crime before they are arrested. In these instances, a judge will issue an arrest warrant. The police will then look for you and arrest you. They must provide you with a copy of the warrant stating the charge and explain why you are being arrested.

What Are Your Rights?

No matter the reason for your arrest, you should know your constitutional rights. You have the right to remain silent and have an attorney. Tempting as it may be to try to explain yourself, especially when the alleged charges are false, it is a wiser move to stay silent.

Instead, if you have been charged with a crime in Las Vegas, you should contact a criminal defense attorney or have a family member do so on your behalf. One thing that is true in those crime movies and TV shows is that anything you say can and will be used against you. You do not want to inadvertently say something that makes your situation worse.

How a Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help

A criminal defense attorney will protect your rights. They will also help find the best way to move forward. Your rights may have been violated or you may be able to challenge a search of your property. Speaking with an attorney allows them to use the right legal strategy to protect you against the charges that have been filed against you.

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