What to do when arrested in O.C. or Inland Empire

When Arrested or Stopped by Police:

When arrested in Orange County or Inland Empire, it's important to know your rights.  Cooperating with, and being polite to the police or any other law enforcement, is very important when you are stopped or arrested. You don't want to make matters worse by resisting arrest--this can increase charges against you. Remember, you'll have your day in court but it's important not to risk injuries to yourself nor incur unnecessary charges against you.

You have a right to know if you're arrested.  If you're not sure, you can always ask the police if it's okay for you to leave.  If they say yes, the best thing you can do is stop talking and start walking, followed by calling an attorney.  

However, what to do when arrested, it is VERY important that you know you have a right NOT TO answer questions.  

You have a right to ask for an attorney. In fact, it's best to ask for an attorney as soon as you find out you're under arrest.  Believe it or not, the police are allowed to make false statements to you to get you to talk.  

If you are being interrogated by the police, you have a right to have an attorney present.  Certain factors must be present in order for police conduct to constitute interrogation.  If you feel you were unlawfully interrogated or had your rights violated during questioning, please call us to discuss your matter.  

The police may also use any and all statements you make to others during your incarceration such as communications with; other inmates, cellmates, and/or other government employees.  


Search Warrants

Police generally need search warrants for certain searches.  Police sometimes do not need search warrant under certain circumstances.


Search Warrant Needed:

  • To search a dwelling (house/apartment/condo/mobile home, etc.,) unless the person with right to immediate possession of property consents to the search.
  • To search a person who is not driving but merely walking or standing out in public, unless there is a legal reason to search immediately. Such reasons could be, but are not limited to, that the person searched fit the description of a person who recently committed a crime locally or the police recognized the person from a prior crime and is making an arrest.  

Search Warrant Not Needed:

The list is long but the following are a list of common reasons why a search warrant may not be needed.  

  • To stop a vehicle in police checkpoints for vehicle-related stops such as DUI checkpoints. 
  • For "exigencies" (legal emergencies)
  • When consent is given
  • Crime or imminent harm prevention 

Classification of offenses: Felony; misdemeanor; infraction

  • Felony: A felony is a crime that is punishable with death, by imprisonment in the state prison, or notwithstanding any other provision of law, by imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170. Every other crime or public offense is a misdemeanor except those offenses that are classified as infractions.


  • Misdemeanor: When a crime is punishable, in the discretion of the court, either by imprisonment in the state prison or imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by fine or imprisonment in the county jail.  Certain restrictions apply.   


  • Infraction: An infraction are those offenses which the prosecutor files as an infraction or the court deems it to be an infraction with the consent of the person charged.  Infractions usually do no have any imposed sentences (time in jail).  It’s mostly a fine with or without probation.