120 S. Olive Ave., Suite 402
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Charged With A Crime, Booked or Arrested, Do You Know The Difference?

arrested_180x120Defendants who have been arrested, booked and formally charged with a crime generally pass through the three main phases of the criminal justice system:

  • Police or law enforcement agency
  • Court system
  • Corrections or incarceration facility
  • Police or Law Enforcement Agency Phase

A police officer or similar government officer usually doesn’t know a crime has occurred until a member of the public reports it. Before a person can be formally apprehended, an arrest warrant based on probable cause is sometimes necessary. A neutral magistrate must approve the warrant because it provides the legal foundation for arresting the person.

After a person is arrested, he or she is booked, which usually includes being photographed, fingerprinted and required to produce personal information.

If charges are filed, the accused person may qualify for an appropriate diversionary program, such as one for alcohol rehabilitation. However, if the person enters a diversionary program and fails to abide by its rules, he or she will return to the next phase of the criminal justice system for further processing. If charges are not filed, the accused is released.

At this point, the accused person moves through both the police phase and the initial court phase of the criminal justice system (source).

A person may be charged with a crime before they are arrested. If this happens, a judge will issue a warrant for the person’s arrest. A police officer will attempt to locate the person who is the subject of the warrant. If the person is located by the police and arrested, the police must give the person a copy of the warrant that states the charge for which they are being arrested. The police do not necessarily need to have a copy of the warrant with them at the time of the arrest, but they should provide a copy to the arrested person within a reasonable amount of time afterward.

After a person is arrested, they will be “booked” at the police department. This entails taking fingerprints and completing other procedural requirements. The person will then be held in police custody pending a court hearing. This hearing will usually take place within 48 hours.

When a person is taken into police custody, they have the right to speak with an attorney. The person will be allowed to contact an attorney. The person should have at least a brief opportunity to meet with their attorney before their initial court hearing.

Anyone who is charged with a crime should hire an attorney with experience in criminal defense to represent them. This is the best way to make sure that your rights are protected, and that you obtain the best possible outcome.

West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney

Few people understand the criminal justice process.

Pre-Filing Package

Before your charges are filed, you have an opportunity to provide the case filing Assistant State Attorney with additional materials, such as witness statements, documents, recordings, and papers for his or her consideration in determining what, if any, charges should be filed against you by the state of Florida. Often, supplemental materials filed by you will greatly reduce charges that are in the process of being filed against you. Therefore, the pre-filing package represents the first line of defense. If you do not file supplemental materials with the State Attorney’s Office, the case filing Assistant State Attorney will rely solely upon the case filing package of materials received from the police department, and may accept all allegations and statements contained in the police package as true. This could result in more serious charges being filed against you . Your defenses will rarely be set forth in the police reports used as the basis to arrest you. It is unfortunate that more defendants do not utilize the pre-filing package opportunity in an effort to have charges reduced.


As previously mentioned, the Office of the State Attorney will determine which, if any, criminal charges should be filed against the arrestee. Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew D. Stine will proactively put together a pre-filing package to help determine if the accused should have charges file against him or her.

Remember, the Law Office of Andrew D. Stine prides itself on helping individuals who have been formally arrested by Law Enforcement, but not yet had criminal charges filed against the individual by the Office of the State Attorney. As a criminal defense lawyer, serving all of Florida, I try to educate the Office of the State Attorney handling the criminal accusation on facts about the case and the defendant that the Law Enforcement Officer will not mention. In other words, Andrew D. Stine will provide the prosecuting attorney with exculpatory evidence, like a sworn statement from the alleged victim in a Felony Battery or Domestic Battery case that the victim was not touched against their will by the defendant, or that the victim wishes not to prosecute, or that the victim was the actual aggressor.

In drug cases such as, Trafficking in Oxycodone, or Possession of Marijuana with Intent to sell, or Possession of Xanax with intent to sell, or any other crime, the law office immediately picks through the evidence with a fine tooth comb to ascertain whether or not the evidence was gathered legally. More times than not the Arresting Officers violate the individual’s 4th Amendment Right when they obtain the contraband through an illegal search and seizure. If this is the issue in your criminal case, then Criminal Defense Attorney Andrew D. Stine will provide these facts to the filing prosecutor of the State Attorney’s Office which can result in the charges being reduced or dismissed all together.

Understand that when you hire the Law Office of Andrew D. Stine you may just provide yourself with a ticket to freedom through Mr. Stine’s proactive stance in handling your criminal matter before actual charges are filed by the State of Florida

Free consultation 24/7: Call West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine, P.A. at (561) 832-1170. Se habla español.

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