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Most criminal cases begin when a person is placed under arrest. An arrest is simply the exercise of police authority over a person.
An arrest can be effectuated without the use of handcuffs or even physical force. The courts have held that spotlighting an individual, turning on the sirens or even simply yelling “stop” can all constitute an arrest.
For an arrest to be lawful the police must witness a crime, be aware of an arrest warrant or have probable cause to make an arrest. If an arrest was unlawful, a motion to suppress all evidence flowing from that arrest can be filed. A successful motion to suppress often results in a dismissal of the charges.
An arrest will be followed by a preliminary arraignment if the accused is held in custody or charged with a serious crime. Otherwise, it will be followed by a preliminary hearing.
Madsen Law Offices is located in Easton, Pennsylvania and represents clients throughout the Lehigh Valley, including Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Jim Thorpe, Stroudsburg and other outlying areas.