MTA:RP Forum Legend
San Andreas Judicial Circuit
Aequale lustitia sub lege
What is an Arrest?
When you are arrested, you are taken into custody. This means that you are not free to leave the scene. Without being arrested, however, you still could be detained or held for questioning for a short time if a police officer or other person believes you may be involved in a crime. For example, an officer may detain you if you are carrying a large box near a recent burglary site. Storekeepers also can detain you if they suspect you have stolen something.
Whether you are arrested or detained, you do not have to answer any questions except to give your name and address and show some identification if requested.
What Rights do I have?
You have certain rights if you are arrested. Before a law enforcement officer questions you, he or she should tell you that:
- You have the right to remain silent.
- Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law.
- You have a right to have a lawyer present while you are questioned.
- If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you by the state of San Andreas.
Once I'm Told my Rights, Can I be Questioned?
You can be questioned, without a lawyer present, only if you voluntarily give up your rights and if you understand what you are giving up. If you agree to the questioning and then change your mind, the questioning must stop as soon as you say so or as soon as you say that you want a lawyer. If the questioning continues after you request a lawyer and you continue to talk, your answers can be used against you if you testify to something different.
You may be required to give certain physical evidence. For example, if you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, you may be requested to take a test to measure the amount of alcohol in your system. If you refuse to take the test, your driver’s license will be suspended and the refusal will be used against you in court.
Once you have been arrested, you have a right to make and complete three free telephone calls within the local dialing area. Any additional calls made from jail must be collect calls (these calls are subject to In-Character situations and are, unfortunately, not always guaranteed).
How Can I find a Lawyer?
If you can afford a lawyer but do not know one, ask a friend, co-worker, employer or business associate to recommend one. In addition, you may want to look for a qualified criminal law attorney. Alternatively, if you cannot afford one you can request one, more info here. Due to limitations in the game itself however, the likelihood of gaining a lawyer or having one in person In-Game is very remote, you'll almost always, if not always, have to revert to the forums for an attorney. Other ways you can do this include making advertisements, asking on Skype, or otherwise communicating with people and questioning them for any sort of lawyer skills.
Remember, you aren't expected to be top notch and know all the rules or even all the laws. A broad, general understanding is the most we can ask for on a roleplay server. If you step out of line or are unsure of proceedings you will be notified by the Judge, don't worry. Always remember Google is your best friend!
Who Can Arrest me?
All law enforcement officers can arrest you whether they are on or off duty, in most cases, and probation or parole officers can also arrest you. If they have probable cause or good reason to believe you committed a felony, they can arrest you even if they do not have an arrest warrant (a felony is the most serious type of crime and is usually punishable by imprisonment for more than a year. A misdemeanor is usually punishable by a fine or short jail term.) They do not have to see you commit a felony in order to arrest you; they do, however, have to see you commit a misdemeanor in order to arrest you. If you commit an infraction, they may ask you to sign a citation or notice instead of taking you into custody. An infraction is a minor offense, such as a moving violation, for which the punishment is usually a fine. If you sign the citation, you are not admitting guilt. You are only promising to appear in court. If you have no identification or refuse to sign, however, an officer may take you into custody.