Police officers only need probable cause to arrest suspects. That is a low burden of proof. Additionally, for the most part, police officers are free to disregard any exonerating evidence. So, Ohio law enforcement officers arrest many, many people every day. Furthermore, many of these arrests are dragnet arrests. For example, if officers find illegal drugs in a car, they usually arrest everyone in the car.
Therefore, sooner or later, you or someone you know and love will probably be arrested. It is not enough to know your rights in these situations. You should also know how to exercise your rights. Similarly, at The VanNoy Firm, we do more than represent people accused of crimes. We also provide the resources you need to make the most out of what could be an extremely bad situation.
The headlines regularly feature stories of contentious police encounters which ended very badly for everyone concerned. So, the “comply now and complain later” approach is usually the best one to take.
If you think that officers are mistreating you or exceeding their authority, it is usually best to not make waves at the time. Never forget that police officers are armed and trained to use their weapons. However, this approach has its limits. If you know officers are mistreating you or exceeding their authority, it is normally best to stand up for yourself.
Knowing your rights is often the key to knowing the difference between these two things. The Fifth Amendment is a good example. Most people know they have the right to remain silent. However, most people do not know how broad this right is.
The privilege against self-incrimination does not just apply to verbal statements. It also applies to physical acts, such as posing for a picture, appearing in a lineup, or refusing to perform DUI field sobriety tests. Granted, if you exercise your rights in these areas, officers will almost certainly arrest you. But at that point, an arrest is probably inevitable anyway.
Furthermore, your Fifth Amendment rights begin when custodial interrogation begins. In this context, people are in custody when they do not feel free to leave. Most people do not feel free to leave the moment they see flashing lights in their rearview mirrors.
On a related note, the Sixth Circuit, which includes Ohio, has not definitively said if citizens have the right to film police officers. Neither has the Supreme Court. So, the law on this point is uncertain.
You also have the right to reasonable bail. Prompt jail release is a very important component of a successful criminal defense. Many people who remain behind bars sustain confinement-related brain injuries. So, their judgment is impaired and they do not make good decisions, even regarding their own criminal defenses.
If you have no criminal record and police charged you with a nonviolent misdemeanor, you are typically eligible for pretrial release in Ohio. If these defendants promise to appear in court, authorities release them. In other words, the arrest has the same legal effect as signing a traffic ticket.
More serious offenses usually require cash bail or a bail bond. Cash bail is like an apartment security deposit. If the defendant complies with all conditions, the county usually refunds most of the money. Bail bonds are like insurance policies. If the defendant violates bail conditions, the bail bond company absorbs the financial risk.
An attorney can help you get out of jail as quickly and as cheaply as possible. An attorney can also convince judges to reduce bond amounts or modify the release conditions.
If you are arrested, you should know your rights, and you should know how to exercise them. For a confidential consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dayton, contact The VanNoy Firm. Convenient payment plans are available.
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