Arrested in Indiana?
The act of being arrested in Indiana can be both frightening and disorientating, but if this happens to you, it’s best to keep a cool head. While that’s certainly easier said than done, many people find that they are better able to remain calm when they know their rights and know how to react and respond to an officer’s questions and commands. It may also help to have some understanding of the legal processes that follow an arrest. From the arrest to initial hearing, to potential plea negotiations and everything else that takes place before a criminal trial in Indiana; each step carries significant weight in shaping the outcome of your case. By familiarizing yourself with these procedures, you can actively participate in your defense strategy, communicate effectively with your legal team, and present a strong case in court.
At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we understand the complexities of the Indiana legal system and the potential consequences that may arise from an arrest. Our experienced team of Indianapolis criminal defense lawyers stands ready to help you navigate the criminal justice process and craft a sound defense aimed at minimizing your potential penalties, reducing the charges made against you, or having them dismissed altogether.
The Criminal Arrest Process in Indiana
An arrest usually starts when an arrest warrant is issued or law enforcement officers suspect someone of committing a crime. In some cases, police officers can even restrain and detain a person without a warrant if they believe the individual has committed a crime.
Law enforcement officers may sometimes give a Miranda warning to the person being taken into custody during the Indiana arrest process. Miranda rights were created after the Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona. These rights include the right to stay silent, the right to an attorney, and being informed that anything they do or say can be used against them in court. Miranda rights do not take effect until you are placed under arrest, so conversations you have with police officers and any actions you take before your official arrest and reading of rights will probably be considered admissible in court.
After a person is arrested, they are taken to the police station for booking. Booking involves recording personal information like fingerprints and taking photos. Law enforcement can even search the person’s belongings and seize items they believe are relevant to the case.
The arrest process is generally consistent throughout Indiana. However, local law enforcement and court rules and programs might result in variations. For example, individuals in Indianapolis should be aware of local ordinances and regulations that may impact the Indiana arrest process and pre-trial procedures. Familiarizing yourself with these local rules can help you know what to do if you are arrested and navigate the legal system more effectively.
Marion County, Indiana, as well as other counties, offers pretrial diversion programs for some defendants charged with non-violent offenses. These programs aim to provide an alternative to traditional prosecution, focusing on rehabilitation and support rather than punishment. Participating in and successfully completing these programs can lead to a dismissal of charges.
No matter how severe the charges, people in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana should seek legal representation quickly after an arrest. A good Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer can you help navigate through the complex legal system, protect your rights, and build a strong defense.
What to Do if You Are Arrested in Indiana
You might have a fight or flight response and not know what to do if you are arrested. Take some deep breaths to calm and regulate your nervous system. It is important to remain calm and cooperative during the Indiana arrest process. The whole situation could get worse if you resist, flee, or act aggressively. Remember that anything you say can be used against you, so stay cautious and avoid any self-incriminating statements. You have the right to remain silent until your lawyer arrives, so use it. The first chance you get, ask for an attorney. Your attorney will be your advocate throughout this legal process.
After asking for a lawyer, the first thing you should do is understand what you’re being accused of. The arresting officer is supposed to let you know, but just in case, or if he or she doesn’t—ask. Knowing the charges for which you are being arrested—at the time of your arrest—will assist both you and your attorney when building a defense. It also helps to pay attention to any evidence or witnesses available that were around when you were put in cuffs. That information may be valuable in your defense.
Understand Your Rights
The Right to Remain Silent
When you get arrested, one of the most important rights you have is to remain silent. If a police officer asks you anything or tries to get information that would be self-incriminating, don’t say anything. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects your right not to incriminate yourself. The best practice is to use this right and wait until your lawyer is present to counsel you during questioning.
The Right to Legal Representation
When you are arrested and charged with a crime, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. If you cannot afford a lawyer, representation can be provided by a public defender. You need to exercise this right. You should never provide any statements or sign any documents without consulting your attorney first. Your lawyer is there to protect your interests and help guide you through the Indiana criminal court process.
Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from being searched or seized for no good reason. It’s important to know that Indiana officers need a search warrant or probable cause to search you. Even if you don’t have anything to hide, it’s good practice to not allow any searches of your person or property without a warrant.
Can You Record Police in Indiana?
Advances in technology have made it very easy for just about anyone to make video or audio recordings of themselves and other people. When it comes to recording police actions, however, caution should be exercised. People generally have the right to record the police in public places, subject to some limitations. In this section, we will clarify the legal landscape surrounding recording police encounters in Indiana and give some insight into the rights of individuals when it comes to recording law enforcement officers in Indiana.
Filming police officers in public is a right that some courts have determined falls under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Thanks to this amendment, you’re able to express your opinions freely and document events that happen in public. However, the US Supreme Court has not weighed in on the topic to date.
Although Indiana generally supports the right to record the police, you should keep in mind that there are exceptions and limitations. The most important aspect is to not obstruct an officer’s ability to do their job or interfere with law enforcement operations. A key part of doing this is being reasonable and refraining from disruptive behavior while recording, as well as maintaining a reasonable distance. In fact, Indiana’s new encroachment law that criminalizes being within 25 feet of a police officer if the officer has asked you to stay away.
You should also consider private spaces where people have expectations of privacy, like inside someone’s home. These spaces might not be held to the same rules as public ones.
The Indiana Criminal Court Process
The need to know what to do if you are arrested doesn’t end after you are taken into custody by police; you also need to know what to expect next. Several important procedures take place before a trial starts. First, charges need to be filed. Following that is the gathering and disclosure of evidence between each side. This part is crucial if you want your rights to be protected, and if you want any potential violations or weaknesses in your case to be found. Getting legal representation as soon as possible in the Indiana criminal court process is highly recommended.
The next stage is known as arraignment or, as we call it in Indiana, an initial hearing. It is the process of being formally accused by an officer or prosecutor at the first court appearance and then giving your plea. You have a right to a legal representative at this level of court. Your attorney can guide you through the process, explain the charges you face, and recommend an appropriate plea.
The court shall then determine whether or not to release you on bail. Bail refers to the fees and conditions imposed by the court to ensure that the accused will appear for a subsequent hearing. Importantly, the court is required to establish reasonable bail with few exceptions. In the event of being granted bail, you should strictly adhere to the requirements stipulated by the court in order to evade further legal hiccups.
People have specific rights when they are being tried in criminal court. Knowing these rights—and having an attorney to advise you—can help you protect yourself and avoid missteps that could damage your case. You can remain silent, get a lawyer, and have a fair trial with an unbiased jury. Your attorney will work to make a strong defense for you, challenging the other side’s evidence, testing the honesty of witnesses, and fighting for your rights.
Why You Need an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer
Even if you don’t know what to do if you are arrested in Indiana, an experienced criminal defense lawyer will. Your attorney will analyze evidence, identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, and build a strategy to pursue the best possible outcome.
Your defense attorney will examine the prosecution’s evidence, from statements made by witnesses to forensic reports. Identifying errors that could have been made by police, prosecutors, and witnesses can provide valuable opportunities to strengthen your defense.
Negotiation often plays a crucial role in the criminal defense process. A seasoned criminal defense lawyer should have excellent negotiation skills and be able to work with prosecutors to seek reduced charges, a plea bargain, or alternative sentencing options. Through strategic negotiations, the aim is to achieve the best possible outcome, mitigating the potential consequences of criminal charges and striving for a fair resolution.
The role of an Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer cannot be overstated when it comes to safeguarding the rights and interests of individuals facing criminal charges. Having the guidance of an experienced attorney like the ones at Keffer Hirschauer LLP can help you navigate the Indiana criminal justice system.
Contact an Indianapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer at Keffer Hirschauer
Remember: When you’ve been arrested in Indiana and charged with a crime, the worst thing you can do is be unrepresented and unprepared. To minimize your potential penalties, reduce your charges or have them dismissed completely, you’ll need to hire a skilled Indiana defense attorney.
The Indianapolis law firm of Keffer Hirschauer LLP is led by two former deputy prosecutors who now work to protect and defend the rights of everyday Hoosiers. They understand how the prosecution thinks and know the tactics used by the State to move criminal cases forward. Our team is not afraid to use every tool at our disposal to challenge the prosecution’s case and aggressively pursue the best outcome for our clients. To speak with one of our Indiana criminal defense attorneys today at call 317-857-0160 or complete our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.