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Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain Why a Formal Arrest May not be Necessary

As Criminal Defense lawyers in Santa Rosa, Napa, San Rafael, Lakeport, Ukiah, and Eureka, we frequently receive questions from potential clients as to whether or not there is a defense in their case because the police never actually "arrested" them. In short, what they really mean is that the police never really told them that they were actually "under arrest'.

An actual formal arrest is generally not a required. For example, for a police officer to request a blood or breath test in a DUI case, if the police officer has probable cause to believe that the driver was driving under the influence, that will be sufficient and a formal arrest is not necessary. However, they still must either get proper consent from the person arrested to take a blood test or acquire a warrant from a judge.

Unfortunately, in California, the suppression of evidence depends on whether the activity on the part of the police would be unconstitutional under federal law. Federal law does not have a requirement of a formal arrest in a DUI situation and, therefore, a formal arrest is not required in California.

At DMV, the situation is somewhat different in that the police must establish that a lawful arrest occurred because chemical tests can only be taken after a valid arrest.

Remember, Ronald Dinan and Associates, is a firm of experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyers, who can help in achieving the best outcome in your case. Many times criminal case dispositions will include reductions or outright dismissal of the number and/or severity of criminal charges, diversion programs, probation, reduced fines with installment payments, alternatives to jail, etc.

To get immediate help with your criminal matter, we invite you to call us to discuss your case. We answer all telephone calls in a polite, professional and helpful manner.

  • Santa Rosa - 707-571-5550
  • Napa - 707-252-0102
  • Marin - 415-491-0223
  • Lakeport - 707-262-0503
  • Ukiah - 707-462-5950
  • Eureka - 707-445-1348