To those who are dealing with police for the first time, it is an unnerving process. There are legal terms and lingo that are unfamiliar. There often is someone at the station being disruptive, increasing tensions around the room. The fear of the unknown gets the best of many, and anxiety inhibits the ability to comprehend what is happening. With terms such as “arrested” and “charged” incorrectly used in daily conversation, understanding the circumstances becomes even more of a challenge. It is important to realize that once an arrest occurs, a criminal record is created that will follow you until you go through the expungement or sealing process.
“You are under arrest! You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say…” the rest becomes a blur to the individual in handcuffs being dragged away to the patrol car. The seemingly long speech that they are legally obligated to give you is known as your Miranda Rights. If you were to listen to them in their entirety, they are clear and concise, letting you know that you have the right to an attorney and if you say anything it can be used against you. You should always heed this warning and not say a word until a lawyer is present. Arrested just means that you are in the custody by the police. The arrest is the act of handcuffing and going to the police station to sit while the prosecutor determines whether or not a case exists. Although the decision has not been made and there may never be a conviction or even a case, the arrest itself will appear on your record.