When an alleged crime has been committed, a suspect is not always immediately identified and placed under arrest. In many criminal cases, police will need to conduct a thorough investigation before they can arrest any alleged offender.
People who believe that they are the targets of criminal investigations should understand that they are not powerless during this time. With qualified legal representation, a suspect can avoid making any number of mistakes that not only result in arrest but have significant impact on the ultimate outcome to his or her case as well.
Lawyer for Georgetown Arrests
If you believe that you are under investigation for or you have been recently arrested for any alleged crime, you will want the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible in this stage of the criminal process. Michael J. Price has over two decades of experience helping people accused of various criminal offenses.
Price & Twine, PLLC represents clients in Georgetown and surrounding areas of greater Williamson County such as Leander, Round Rock, Hutto, Taylor, and Cedar Park. You can receive a complete evaluation of your case when you call (512) 354-1880 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Williamson County Investigation / Arrest Overview
- What happens during criminal investigations?
- How and when are warrants used during this phase of the process?
- What occurs when somebody is placed under arrest?
A preliminary investigation begins with one of the following actions:
- 911 call
- Criminal allegation
- Informant tip
- Observations of police officer
Law enforcement generally begins their investigation at the scene of the alleged crime. During this time, police usually take the following actions:
- Interview alleged victim
- Interview any witnesses
- Question alleged suspect, if at scene
- Collect evidence
No two investigations are the same. The type of alleged crime dictates the amount of time that will be required for a criminal investigation. For example, in a case involving a person allegedly driving while intoxicated (DWI), law enforcement will often conduct a series of field sobriety tests and chemical tests to establish probable cause before placing the suspect under arrest.
However, other cases like property or theft crimes can require several weeks or even months of investigation before an alleged offender can be identified.
During a criminal investigation, police may acquire either or both of the following warrants:
- Search Warrant — Law enforcement can perform searches without warrants in cases in which objects are in plain view, the body or automobile of an alleged offender is being searched during an arrest, exigent circumstances merit immediate action, or suspects consent to such searches. For all other circumstances, Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 18.02 authorizes a judge or magistrate to then issue a search warrant for police to search for and seize any of the following after law enforcement has established probable cause that an alleged offender is suspected of being involved in criminal activity:
- Property acquired by theft or in any other manner which makes its acquisition a penal offense
- Property specially designed, made, or adapted for or commonly used in the commission of an offense
- Arms and munitions kept or prepared for the purposes of insurrection or riot
- Weapons prohibited by the Penal Code
- Gambling devices or equipment, altered gambling equipment, or gambling paraphernalia;
- Obscene materials kept or prepared for commercial distribution or exhibition, subject to the additional rules set forth by law
- A drug, controlled substance, immediate precursor, chemical precursor, or other controlled substance property, including an apparatus or paraphernalia kept, prepared, or manufactured in violation of the laws of this state
- Any property the possession of which is prohibited by law
- Implements or instruments used in the commission of a crime
- Property or items, except the personal writings by the accused, constituting evidence of an offense or constituting evidence tending to show that a particular person committed an offense
- Contraband subject to forfeiture
- Electronic customer data held in electronic storage, including the contents of and records and other information related to a wire communication or electronic communication held in electronic storage
- Arrest Warrant — A judge or magistrate issues an arrest warrant when police have established probable cause that a suspect committed an alleged criminal offense. Texas Code of Criminal Procedure § 15.26 states that police officers need to inform alleged offenders of the authority under which the arrest is being made, but an officer does not need to have the warrant in his or her possession at the time of the arrest. Additional arrest warrant powers granted under Chapter 15 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure include arrests being able to be made on any day or at any time of the day or night, all reasonable means of force being permitted to make arrests, and, in felony cases, officers may break down doors of any houses for the purpose of making an arrest if refused admittance after giving notice of authority and purpose.
After police have either established probable cause or obtained a warrant, an alleged offender can be placed under arrest. When law enforcement takes a suspect into custody, he or she must be issued a Miranda warning that informs him or her of the following constitutional rights:
- The right to remain silent, and that anything he or she says can and will be used against him or her in a court of law
- The right to have an attorney present before and during questioning
- The right to have a lawyer appointed without cost to the alleged offender if he or she cannot afford the services of an attorney
After an alleged offender has been placed under arrest, the police may perform any number of activities as part of the booking process. This includes getting the suspect’s fingerprints, taking photographs of the alleged offender, and possibly having him or her participate in a lineup.
The suspect will usually be allowed to make one phone call, which he or she might choose to make to a spouse, friend, or bondsman. It can often be in the alleged offender’s best interests to use his or her phone call to contact a criminal defense attorney.
Find the Best Criminal Defense Lawyer in Georgetown
Michael J. Price is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Georgetown who take immediate action to protect the rights of clients. If you believe you are the target of a criminal investigation or you were recently arrested for allegedly breaking the law, they will work to help you achieve a favorable resolution to your case.
In addition to Williamson County, Price & Twine, PLLC also serves such areas of nearby Bell County as Harker Heights, Temple, Belton, and Killeen. Call (512) 354-1880 today to receive a free legal consultation.