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FAQ

Zarabi Law is a client-focused and results-driven law firm serving California. Attorney Elliot Zarabi has extensive experience with constitutional law and the justice system, and he leads his team with a passion for protecting the legal rights of Americans.

Are police required to read Miranda warnings when making an arrest?

No. Police can arrest someone and take them to the station without reading them their Miranda rights. However, if police intend to interrogate the suspect while in custody, they must read them their Miranda rights before interrogation.

Do I have to speak with police if I have been arrested?

No. The U.S. Constitution mandates that individuals who are arrested do not have to speak with police, except for providing basic information. You have the choice of whether or not to speak with police, but it is generally recommended that you speak with an attorney first.

What is an arraignment?

Arraignment is the formal proceeding where someone is charged with a crime. The court announces the charges and gives the defendant the opportunity to enter a plea. Prosecutors can request the court to detain the defendant or place restrictions on their release.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

A misdemeanor is considered a less severe offense. Examples of misdemeanors include traffic violations, DUI, theft and possession of controlled substances. In contrast, felonies are more serious offenses. Examples of felonies include murder, arson, burglary, larceny, and aggravated assault or battery.

Can I be charged with a misdemeanor if the police office did not witness the crime?

Generally speaking, a police officer cannot arrest someone for a misdemeanor without witnessing the crime. Witnessing the crime, however, may include the crime occurring in their presence, being witnessed through surveillance, or being observed by other officers. If an officer did not witness the crime, he or she must file an affidavit and ask a judge to issue a probable cause warrant.

What is the difference between a verdict of “not guilty” and an acquittal?

An acquittal is part of a trial when the jury or judge determines that the prosecution has failed to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. An acquittal can also happen if the judge decides there is insufficient evidence. A verdict of “not guilty” happens when the jury hears all the evidence and testimony and finds the defendant not guilty.

What should I do if I know that I am innocent, but have been arrested?

Contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can speak with the prosecution about the situation and call attention to facts that may be inaccurate or misunderstood. Your attorney will also make sure that your legal rights are upheld throughout the process of clearing your name.

Can I get an arrest removed from my record?

If you are not officially charged with a crime, the arrest may not appear on your record at all. If an arrest does appear on your record even though you were not charged, you can file a petition to have it removed. If you want a conviction removed from your record, you will need to apply for an expungement.

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