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Suppose that you are under criminal investigation – or the officials are attempting to prevent a crime – they can deny you your personal freedom through an act called an arrest. As an arrestee, you have to face methods and procedures as prescribed by the criminal justice system.
Who Can Arrest You?
Officials who can conduct an arrest include the police, army and other sanctioned individuals. Americans, except residents of North Carolina, can perform a citizen’s arrest as well. In this activity, simple individuals possess the right to apprehend suspects of a crime.
What Can You Expect During an Arrest?
If the arresting officer has enough evidence to link you to a criminal offense, he will inform you about your Miranda rights prior to securing you in a handcuff.
After the arrest, the officer will accompany you to the police station to hold you in custody. You will be frisked and any possessions you have will be checked. You will be asked questions about the crime you are supposedly involved with.
What are your Rights?
While under arrest, you should be familiar with your rights – also known as the Miranda rights. Your privileges as an arrestee include:
- The right to remain silent.
- The right to have an attorney, or be granted one if you do not have the financial capacity to do sos.
- The right to refuse answering until granted legal counsel.
- The right to receive medical treatment for any ailments or injuries while under arrest.
- The right to tell someone about the location of your custody.
Other Things You Need to Know
- Once arrested, avoid panicking or getting in trouble with the officer.
- Remember that you can only be held in custody for 24 hours. If there is not enough evidence to link you to the crime, you have to be released by the arresting officer.
- Attend all court-mandated hearings.
- Know your rights! Being aware of the circumstances of your arrest will minimize your brushes with the law.
Criminal and Felony
Most people confused the term ‘felony’ with the word ‘criminal.’ While they are often interchanged, you need to know that they are two very different aspects of the justice system.
Criminal offense covers a broader scope. It is subdivided into three categories, namely felonies, infractions and misdemeanors. Individuals who are slapped with these violations are deemed punishable by the law.
As the weightiest of all crimes, felony ranges from murder, rape, kidnapping, armed robbery and grand theft auto. Punishment for such crimes is grave, and such levies include incarceration and life imprisonment without parole. In some cases, the death sentence is considered.
Once you are charged with felony, you get to lose some of your rights, such as your right to carry weapons and your right to vote.
Apart from the convicted felon, individuals who have helped him accomplish his crime can be punished by the judicial system as well.
Known as lesser crimes, misdemeanors are lighter than felonies because the outcomes are not that severe or life-threatening. However, a misdemeanor can be sanction as a felony, if in case the crime results to injury or death.
Punishment for misdemeanors is usually incarceration for less than a year. Punishments for misdemeanors are minor, and these can include probation, community service and restitution.
Infractions or violations are the most trivial of crimes. These usually involve utter disregard for local rules and statutes. Incarceration is not levied to those who committee violations, but they are usually required to pay a certain amount to the court or to the official who has noticed the infraction.
Just like misdemeanors, infractions can turn into felonies if they result to injury or death. At the same time, infractions can be categorized as misdemeanors as well.
Unlike other crimes, those who committed violations will not be provided legal counsel by the government. In this case, the suspect should hire the lawyer himself.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse for any crime, no matter how grave or light it might be. After all, it is your responsibility as an individual to know the different kinds of felonies – and what consequences they might bring.
You and your family’s safety should be your utmost concern. If you are in doubt of the people around you, it will help if you conduct a background search of these individuals, known as an inmate record lookup. Doing so will let you know of their criminal histories – and whether they have become inmates or not.
The Importance of Searching for Inmate Records
The foremost advantage that comes with searching inmate records is the knowledge that it can give you. It pays to be sure about the people around you, and by looking for existing inmate records, you can read about a person’s criminal offense, his years of conviction, and the prison where he spent his sentence.
Another benefit that comes with an inmate record search is that it can help you learn if the individual is on parole, and if he adheres with court rulings. Should you find him in violation of his parole, you can alert the authorities right away. Of course, this can help you ensure the safety of your loved ones even more.
How to Conduct an Inmate Record Search
Contrary to popular beliefs, looking for inmate records is an easy task to do. All you just need to do is visit online locator websites, such as the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. To look for a person’s file, you just need to type in his ID number and other particulars such as sex, race, age and name.
If you would like an in-depth search of the records, you can also visit the website of the jail where he served his sentence.
If you are not familiar with the workings of the internet, you can visit nearby penitentiaries to search for inmate records. While this is a more tedious task, it can provide additional information that you won’t be able to find in online locator websites.
Not all ex-inmates are harmful, but some may still pose as threats of the society. If you want to maintain the safety of your loved ones, then it is reasonable that you perform an inmate record lookout. It is cheap and easy to do, and most importantly, it gives you a brief introduction of the person you are dealing with.
Criminal records are papers that bear the information of an individual’s criminal activities, as well as his past offenses. Also known as police records, they can be utilized to ascertain a person’s reliability and dependability.
Beneficial for personal purposes and investigations, police records can help you ensure the safety and security of your family and friends.
Why Do You Need Police Records?
Since they contain an individual’s past and present criminal wrongdoings, criminal records can help you with the following scenarios:
- For license acquisition (driver’s license, professional license)
- For travel purposes (i.e. immigration visas)
- For adoption purposes
- For personal investigations
How to Search for Criminal Records
If ever you need to secure police records for the aforementioned purposes, here are several methods that can help you out:
- Visit the Local Police Station – You can swing by your local police station to acquire a person’s criminal records. Apart from his past and present criminal activities, police records can give you an idea of the individual’s monikers, and if he belongs to a certain gang.
- Visit the FBI – If you want a deeper and more thorough data inquiry, what you need to do is stop by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. You can get hold of an individual’s crime records simply by filing a request. For this request you need to write important information, such as the record holder’s name, date and place of birth. If you can supply a set of fingerprints, they can help speed up the searching process.
- Conduct an Online Search – If you cannot visit the following places, you can simply search for police records by visiting these agencies’ websites. There are also other private websites that offer criminal record lookup for a fee. Because of its multiple uses, conducting a police record search is truly valuable for every person. As such, make sure to do the following activities in order to secure the criminal records and files that you need.
Sex offender/ Neighborhood watch
Police and other officials are always available to defend you from criminals and evildoers, however, it will be best if you took steps to protect yourself and your family as well. If you need protection from crimes and other offenses, it will be best if you engaged in a neighborhood watch team.
What is a Neighborhood Watch?
A neighborhood watch is a collection of concerned citizens who supervise their suburbs or communities. Inspired by the colonial concept of “Town Watch,” the participants of the neighborhood watch report any unusual activity to the police, so they can determine the cause/s behind these activities.
A neighborhood watch is organized in order to observe the surroundings, so crimes do not have to take place in the concerned community. It also promotes quality living within the region, because it is able to protect its boundaries from criminals.
According to crime experts, a neighborhood watch is an indispensable part of the community because it stops criminals at its tracks. Additionally, it is also better than altering a person’s behavior, especially if he has already committed the crime.
Sex Offender Watch
Apart from crimes and vandalisms, sexual crimes are rampant in certain communities. As such, it is important that you knew about these perpetrators, also known as sex offenders. These individuals have been tried by the court, and as part of the monitoring process they need to enlist their names in sex offender registries.
Sex offenders are categorized by levels. Low-level criminals only need to be registered for a short period of time. High-level criminals, on the other hand, have to be registered for as long as they live. The registry of sex crimes is open to the public, so that the masses can be informed about the presence sex offenders in the area.
Neighborhood watch and sex offender registries are truly vital for each community. With their abilities to inform the residents about the crimes and perpetrators around them, they can help keep the neighborhood safe and secure.
Given by a magistrate or a judge, a warrant is a document that authorizes the search of a certain location. It also approves the arrest of a suspect who has committed an illegal act or a certain crime. An arrest is considered legal if the police officer is able to present you your warrant.
A general warrant is one of the earliest types of warrant. It has been utilized in the 17th century, and was released only by the English Secretary of State. Unlike modern warrants, general warrants do not bear the name of the person who has to be apprehended. Sadly, officials abused this by arresting whoever they like simply by the power of the general warrant. Because of the exploitation that came with this document, it was finally banned in 1766.
Execution of Warrant
After warrant issuance, it will be implemented through the execution of warrant. With this power, the arresting official who is assigned with the warrant can use whatever force necessary to seize the concerned property.
In line with the Fourth Amendment, the official should execute the “knock and announce” method. However, if the concerned individual does not respond properly, the officer can enter the premises with the necessary force needed.
Kinds of Warrants
Here are several types of warrants that judges and magistrates issue:
- Search Warrant – Authorizes an official to search an individual and his property for criminal evidences. This document covers the confiscation of said evidences.
- Arrest Warrant – Issues by officials in order to arrest an individual who has committed an offense.
- Execution Warrant –A document that legalizes the capital punishment or death sentence for a certain criminal. It is also known as the ‘black warrant’ or the ‘death warrant.’
Remember, a warrant assures the legality of your arrest. As such, it is important that you knew about these specifications so you can ensure your right as a citizen.