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7 Secrets to Maximizing Your New York Auto Accident Award

By Bryan J. Hutchinson

Criminal Law Attorney Bronx | Arrest to Arraignment

Arrest to Arraignment in New York City

What happens if I am arrested in New York City?

If the New York City Police Department has asked you to turn yourself in at a local precinct you should retain counsel to accompany you to the precinct. It is important that the police knows that you have counsel to protect your Miranda Rights. You should bring with you two forms of identification such as a driver’s license, passport, school ID or DMV ID. You should also bring a role of quarters to make telephone calls. Whether you are arrested by turning yourself in or without notice you will probably be handcuffed and taken to a local precinct to be processed.

What can I expect at a local New York City police precinct after my arrest?

If you are arrested in any of the five boroughs of New York City and taken to the local precinct a police officer will interview you and obtain what is formally called your “pedigree” information such as your name, address, date of birth and social security number.

The police will also voucher your personal property such as jewelry, money, house keys, medication, wallet or purse, etc. If you have contraband the police will also voucher it and it may be used as evidence against you for possession of the contraband. Make sure you get a copy of the voucher form or at least the voucher number.

You will be finger printed and photographed if you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor pursuant to the New York City Administrative Code, Vehicle and Traffic Law or Penal Law.

If you are charged with only a violation such as disorderly conduct you will probably only be photographed and not fingerprinted. In its sole discretion the police officer at the precinct may issue a Desk Appearance Ticket (DAT). That means you will be released at the precinct and not take to central booking. You will then have to appear in court on the dates specified in the DAT.

How long does it take to be processed after my arrest at a local New York City police precinct?

It takes approximately six hours to be processed at a local precinct.

How many phone calls am I entitled to after being arrested in New York City?

You are generally allowed to get three free telephone calls within New York City. If you need to call outside New York City you are allowed three collect calls. There may also be pay phones available to make a call.

What are my Miranda Rights after being arrested in New York?

Pursuant to the United States Supreme Court case called Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966), the Court held that, in order to "dispel the compulsion inherent in custodial" interrogation, certain warnings must be given "at the outset of the interrogation."

Those warnings advise the suspect that he has the right to remain silent, that any statements he makes can be used against him in court, that he has the right to consult with counsel, and that if he cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for him prior to questioning.

Immediately upon being contacted by the police you should invoke your Miranda rights and remain silent. Once you invoke your right to counsel, the police must cease questioning you. Do not make the mistake that too many people make by continuing to talk to the police because you will be waiving your Miranda rights. Do not talk to the police because you will only dig yourself into a hole. The police cannot offer you any deals for cooperating with their investigation. Only the district attorney can make a promise to you for cooperating. Do not tell your story to your cellmate. Do not talk to anyone unless your lawyer is present.The biggest mistakes are made immediately after an arrest.

What happens at Central Booking after my arrest in New York City?

After you are processed at the local police precinct you will be taken to central booking which generally occurs at the local criminal court house. At central booking you will be interviewed by an employee of the Criminal Justice Agency, who will inquire about your family, work history and community ties to determine whether you are a risk of flight and will return to court after arraignment. You should provide your current employment, family ties, and a phone number of someone who can verify your information.

What happens at a New York City criminal court arraignment?

After you have been proceed by CJA you will be brought to a holding cell to be arraigned.

If you have retained private counsel then he or she will meet with you in one of the booths near the holding cell to interview you. If you have not arranged for private counsel the court will appoint counsel to protect your rights.

Your attorney will inform you of the following:

  • The charges – whether you are being charged with a violation, misdemeanor or felony.
  • If the district attorney is making any plea offer.
  • And whether it is in your best interest to plead guilty or not guilty.

Once your paper work is ready and you have met with your lawyer the case is ready to be arraigned. The court officer will bring you from the holding cell before the judge in open court.

The prosecutor will give a brief statement of the charges. To save time and judicial resources it is customary for your attorney to waive reading of the formal charges. The waiver of the reading of the formal charges is not a waiver of your rights to dispute the sufficiency of the accusatory instrument.

At arraignment the court will determine whether you should be released on recognizance (ROR). Which is your good faith promise to return to court. Or whether bail is required or you should be held without bail. If the prosecutor is demanding bail then your attorney will argue why ROR or a reduced bail should apply. Make sure your family and friends show up at arraignment to show family and community ties. In addition, make sure that your family and friends are on their best behavior in the court room.

The arraignment is not a trial or evidentiary hearing. There are no witnesses. The police may not appear. Don’t expect your lawyer to rant, rage and put on a show. Any ranting is merely for showmanship and is not in your best interest.

The prosecutor will also inform the court of certain required notices, including but not limited to, whether you made any statements to the police, or if the police performed some form of identification procedure a part of the case. For example, were you identified in a line up or show up.

Sometimes the case gets disposed at the arraignment. If you take a plea at arraignment the case will be disposed and you then have to pay any applicable fees, fines or penalties. Generally, the entire arraignment process takes between three to five minutes.

We zealously represent clients in the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Westchester, and Nassau Counties in all aspect of State and Federal criminal law matters from arrest to trial. If you are about to be arrested or wanted for questioning by NYPD then you should protect your rights by calling the Law Office of Bryan J. Hutchinson, PLLC at (718) 671-0900.