We’ve all heard a character in our favorite crime drama say something along the lines of, “I’ve heard enough, I’m taking you down to the station.” While the saying is overdramatic, police officers do take the arrested to police stations for booking and detainment (detainment depending on the crime). While booking and detainment are integral aspects of the justice system, strict rules outline these processes. Because of these rules, someone who faces unlawful detainment can fight for their freedom.
Rules of Detainment
Florida law allows police officers to detain people temporarily who are thought to have committed, are committing, or are about to commit a crime; however, police officers must have a legitimate reason to detain someone temporarily. This law is informally known as “probable cause.”
Probable cause is the lowest detainment standard we have in the State of Florida. Probable cause asks if is there a minimum amount of evidence to prove that a crime has been committed and if there is a minimum amount of evidence to prove that you (suspect) committed the crime. Most courts now find (especially in domestic violence cases) that even an un-corroborated victim statement is enough to establish probable cause for purposes of an arrest. Therefore, no independent or physical evidence is necessary.
If police pull someone over without probable cause, his or her detainment is unlawful: even if police find something unlawful after detainment.
Right to an Attorney
If the police have probable cause and arrest someone for criminal activity, the arrested have the right to consult an attorney at the place of custody.
Therefore, if the arrested asks to consult an attorney at the place of custody, and the police deny that request, his or her detainment has become unlawful.
Right to Reasonable Detainment
If police officers bring someone to their station, they have the responsibility to detain the person reasonably for a practical amount of time. The definition of “reasonable” detainment changes based on the circumstances of the arrest.
If you believe that your detainment circumstances are unreasonable, and thus unlawful, it is critical that you talk to an experienced Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call (305) 330-1360 now for a free consultation for your case.