There are three types of criminal charges: felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions. Felonies, of course, are the most serious. When someone is arrested for a felony in Missouri or Kansas, various questions can arise regarding the facts and circumstances of the arrest. (Note that this article applies only to felony arrests.
The issues for misdemeanors and infractions are somewhat different). Here are the questions that we generally look into when a felony arrest in Missouri or Kansas has taken place. This list is not exhaustive. There are many issues that are looked into when a felony arrest has taken place, and most of them are case-specific. But these factors below give a general idea of how complicated the arrest process can be.
1. Was there in fact an “arrest”? (An arrest is a “seizure” of a person). The issue here turns on whether there has been some official, intentional termination of movement. Was there some restraint applied to a person? The person should have reasonably believed that they were not free to leave the encounter.
2. Was there a warrant? An arrest warrant is supposed to be backed up by a complaint or indictment stating facts sufficient to show “probable cause.”
3. If there was no warrant, did the officer have “probable cause” to make the arrest? Probable cause is a very particular legal term, and the existence of probable cause can be the subject of much litigation.
4. Was the officer within his territorial jurisdiction? Was he in “hot pursuit”?
5. If a person was the subject of a “stop and frisk”, was there “articulable suspicion” of criminal activity that can be found?
6. Was the arrest based on information provided by a confidential informant (CI), and if so, was the information reliable?
7. Was there a search incident to the arrest, and if so, was it valid?
8. Was there a custodial interrogation that took place, and if so, were the proper Miranda warnings and procedures followed?
9. Is there any special facts or circumstances that might be relevant? Was the person arrested a juvenile, or incapacitated, or mentally handicapped?
Obviously, there are many issues that come into play when a person is arrested for a felony. Many of the same issues come into play with misdemeanors as well. If you or someone you know has been arrested, it is critical that you consult with an attorney at the earliest possible time. Your rights may be permanently affected by how you handle things at the outset of a case.
Read More: Bail In Criminal Cases In Missouri