posted on Apr, 26 2009 @ 03:08 PM
In the United States you can be arrested for *ANY* reason by the Police.
However, you can not be held for longer than 24 hours (72 hours if you are arrested on a Friday) without being Arraigned (formally charged).
If you are arrested for either a fraudulent charge, or for something that cannot be prosecuted with a certain amount of certainty of a conviction, the
District Attorney will generally drop the charges right there at your Arraignment (or between your Arraignment and Trial).
It is for this reason, when a Law Enforcement Officer attempts to arrest you, no matter how stupid they are, or how stupid their reasons, just go
along with it. Don't argue...don't attempt to quote the Law, even if you know it better than they do. Law Enforcement Officers are not lawyers. They
are generally High School Graduates with no further education. If you don't just sigh and go along with it you could very easily escalate the
situation and be further charged with Resisting Arrest, which increases your chances of facing actual Charges and being found Guilty.
I've been arrested 3 times. Basically, each time, the Officers stated "We're not really sure who's at fault here, so we're just going to arrest
everyone and let the DA sort it out." Fair enough. Went along peacefully, went through Booking, posted Bail, showed up to my Arraignment Hearing to
find the DA never filed Charges because no crime had been committed, got my Bail Money back in the Mail 2 weeks later. Minor two hour interruption in
my life each time. No big.
Whether a law has been broken or not is for DAs, Lawyers and Judges to figure out. Law Enforcement isn't capable of that. They may ask Dispatch to
look up Criminal Code for them, but Dispatch isn't qualified to be making legal judgments either. This is also why Law Enforcement will almost never
get involved in Civil Issues and restrict their Law Enforcement to only Criminal Issues.
Yes, it's ridiculous that we don't require Law Enforcement to be versed in the actual laws they are enforcing, however, that is the way it is. It's
not in their job description. When in any doubt, they arrest. That's their job. They leave the decision of whether a law has been broken, or an
actual crime committed, to the professionals; being the DA and the Judge assigned the case...which ultimately is probably for the best.
If you feel that you an arresting Officer has acted improperly, committed misconduct, or even harassed you repeatedly, you can file a complaint
alleging a violation of your rights, you may contact the Department of Justice directly, or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) which is
responsible for investigating allegations of criminal deprivations of civil rights. You may also contact the United States Attorney's Office (USAO)
in your district. The FBI and USAOs have offices in most major cities and have publicly-listed phone numbers. In addition, you may send a written
Criminal Section - PHB
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20530