In Utah, Do the Police Have to Tell You Why They Are Arresting You?
Many Utah residents are not fully informed about their rights during an arrest. If they are arrested, they may not be told the reason, leading them to wonder: Are the police required to tell you the reason for your arrest? Salt Lake City criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson can defend the rights of those who have been arrested throughout this difficult process. Continue reading to learn more about whether or not the police have to tell you why they are arresting you, plus information about your rights during an arrest in Utah.
Informed Arrest Practices in Utah
In the United States, there is no requirement that police tell you why they have probable cause to arrest you. It is generally regarded as a good practice for law enforcement to let you know why they are arresting you, but doing so is not required.
However, police are required to give you a probable cause determination within 48 hours following the arrest. This will happen during an arraignment, which is when you will be informed about the charges that have been made against you and the probable cause behind them.
And while police are not required to tell you why they are arresting you, they are required to show you the warrant for your arrest in most cases. (Certain arrests, such as for a DUI, do not require a warrant.) Police are also required to follow other procedures during arrests, such as reading your Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent and the right to consult with a lawyer. Failure to follow the proper procedure can benefit you as you face charges; if this happened during your arrest, seek the help of a Salt Lake City arrest warrant attorney immediately.
When Police Need a Warrant in Utah
For most arrests, police in Utah will need a warrant to take you into custody. However, there are also situations in which police do not need a warrant to arrest you, such as if you were driving drunk. If an officer catches you drunk driving, they simply need probable cause to place you under arrest; in other words, they must have reason to believe that a violation occurred and that you were the person who committed it.
According to the Utah Code of Criminal Procedure, there are certain times at which a police officer can arrest you without first obtaining a warrant. The following three circumstances allow a police officer to arrest you without a warrant in Utah:
- The police officer witnesses you committing a crime, attempting to commit a crime, or in the process of committing a crime.
- The police officer has probable cause to believe that a felony or Class A misdemeanor was committed and that you are responsible.
- The police officer has probable cause to believe that you committed a crime (which may be a felony, Class A misdemeanor, Class B misdemeanor, or Class C misdemeanor) and that there is a chance you will flee, go into hiding, destroy evidence connected to your offense, injure someone, or damage someone else’s property if you are not apprehended immediately.
It’s important to note that there two types of warrants that allow police to arrest you in Utah. One type is a bench warrant, which allows police to arrest you if you have failed to appear in court when you should have. Bench warrants are issued by a judge, and they authorize police to arrest you and bring you to court. This type of warrant does not typically lead police to seek you out; instead, bench warrants are usually only enacted if you are arrested for something else, such as a traffic violation or DUI.
Arrest warrants, on the other hand, give police officers the authority to find and arrest you for a specific crime. They are issued by judges and magistrates and often include limits on the circumstances under which police can arrest you. It should be noted that both bench warrants and arrest warrants differ from search warrants, which allow police to search your property for narcotics or other illicit substances.
How to Know If There Is a Warrant Out For Your Arrest
If you suspect that there is a warrant out for your arrest, there are a few ways you can find out for certain. One way you can determine if there is a warrant out for your arrest is to use the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Statewide Warrant Search, which is available online. You can also call the Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification or contact the clerk of courts in your county.
If you discover that there is a warrant out for your arrest, you should seek counsel from an experienced criminal attorney immediately. An attorney will help you evaluate the meaning of the warrant and understand the weight of the charges you are facing, then work with you to craft a strong defense.
Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Lawyer Available Today
If you have any doubts about whether police acted properly during your arrest, get in touch with criminal defense lawyer Darwin Overson as soon possible. The team at Overson Law, PLLC, has spent years helping residents of Utah with their criminal cases, and we’re ready to help you navigate a tough legal situation. Call (801) 758-2287 today to schedule a time for a free and private consultation.