DC Burglary Arrest Process

Police will not wait any longer than necessary to effectuate an arrest because burglary charges in DC are a serious felony charge. If the police are able to apprehend the suspect shortly after the burglary has occurred, they will make the arrest right then.  If the police need to conduct a follow-up investigation and review evidence, such as video footage, talk to witnesses, or whatever else their investigation might involve, they will do so.  Once they are convinced they have their suspect, and have identified who committed the burglary, they will make the arrest as soon as they can thereafter.

When An Arrest is Likely to Occur

Often burglary arrests takes place within minutes or hours after the alleged burglary occurred. In these situations the individual did not self-surrender, but was located by the DC police after a search of the premises or following up on some quick leads. The alleged burglar is then taken to a police station. The police will question the arrested individual or individuals regarding the burglary. With a felony charge like burglary they will be held in custody until they are brought before the court, typically the next business day. Certain cutoff times can affect the time table, but in no event does the court proceeding happen more than 48 hours after the arrest occurred.

If there are no eyewitnesses or quick leads to identify the defendant, then further investigation by police will need to be done. The police continue investigating until they have located their suspect, and generally make the arrest right away. The police may ask the suspect to come in and discuss the situation with them. This will give the suspect a chance to give their side of the story.  However, more often than not in burglary cases, once the police have identified their suspect, they will make the arrest.

Booking Process Following An Arrest

Once an individual is first arrested by the police and handcuffs are put on, they are going to be searched to make sure they do not have any drugs or weapons on them. They will then be searched again when they are brought into a police station, their photograph will be taken, and they have their fingerprints taken. The police are going to do a lot of paperwork and they are going to search their computer systems to double check and make sure there are no active warrants for that person’s arrest for some other matter.

Police Questioning

The police will try to question them. If they do, and if the individual does elect to engage in a conversation and answer questions, the police are likely to ask them questions until they have exhausted all of the questions they have.

Invoking Your Rights

The police are certainly going to try to question anyone whom they arrest under suspicion of burglary extensively. They want to obtain a confession if at all possible, or at least try to lock down whatever that suspect has to say when they are trying to explain why they did not commit the burglary.

Anyone who is arrested by law enforcement, on burglary or any other criminal charge, needs to be prepared to invoke their Fifth Amendment right against giving a statement to the police or answering their questions.

The police may try to persuade them by saying it is certainly in their best interest to talk to the police and if they do not talk, the police will only hear one side of the story. However, any seasoned and skilled criminal defense attorney will tell you that they have seen many cases where a defendant has convicted themselves by talking to the police.

Even if a police officer tells the defendant that it would be better to talk, that is not true. It is important for an individual, who is worried about being arrested, to know they have the absolute right to talk to a lawyer, they have a right to not answer questions, and they should make sure to invoke those rights immediately and as often as necessary.

Where An Individual is Held

Once they have finished up with their initial paperwork, the booking process with the fingerprints and photographs, and the information check, they are going to transport the person at some point thereafter, within a few hours usually, over to the central cell block. This is located in the basement of 300 Indiana Avenue, NW, D.C.

That is the police headquarters. In the basement they have the cell block where they keep individuals who have been arrested and are waiting to go to court the next business day. The courthouse is right next door and they can transport them on the ground by the U.S. Marshals. They are going to be held in custody and brought to court on the next business day.

Assistance An Attorney Can Provide

Often, if an individual has sought and retained a criminal defense attorney before an arrest is to take place, they are looking to have their attorney arrange for a self-surrender in the event that an arrest warrant is issued. This happens when the police have decided they got the right person and ask a judge for a warrant to arrest the individual. In the case that an individual has managed to hire a lawyer before the warrant has been issued, the attorney is able to get in touch with the police, and under certain circumstances a self-surrender can be arranged.

This situation is ideal because an attorney will tell you and the police they should not be questioning you after self-surrender. Also, the arrest will take place at a time and date that is much more convenient for the individual. Instead of being surprised at home or work, they will arrange ahead of time to come with their attorneys to a police station. The burglary arrest process begins with far less stress for the alleged burglar.