Do police officers have to tell you what you are being charged with before you leave the scene? 7 Answers as of June 11, 2015

Me and my friend pulled into a party the same time the cops did and we had already been drinking. They found us in his car and gave both of us a sobriety test, and didn't tell either one of us if we failed or not just to get back in the car and call someone to pick us up. He took our IDs and ran them and gave them back to us. He wrote down our information and left us alone and told us to just wait for our ride. He did not give us a citation or anything and didn't even say we were being charged with anything just to wait for our ride. Then today the deputy called me and my friend and said we have to be at court for our charges. So I guess what I am asking is are they allowed to not tell you then just call you on the phone the next day and tell you, you are being charged.

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Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
Nope. Time to shop for a lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/11/2015
Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
You do not need to be charged at the scene for the charge to be valid. The police gives the information to the prosecutor to decide if a charge is to be issued. Generally, more advanced notice for the arraignment is given.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/11/2015
Ksicinski | Paul Ksicinski
Police officers do not and cannot tell you what you are being charged with. They do not make the charging decision. A prosecutor makes the charging decision.. They certainly tell the prosecutor what charges they believe will stick based on evidence but they do not decide what to charge you with. So no they have no obligation to tell you.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 6/11/2015
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
No, they don't have to tell you at the scene.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/11/2015
The Rogers Law Firm
The Rogers Law Firm | Andrea Storey Rogers
Nothing illegal about that. Usually they just give you a ticket before releasing you or mail a summons to you later, but you do now have notice of the court date so you must either show up for the court date or hire an attorney to appear for you. Many times people are arrested and taken to jail & released, then later they receive a summons in the mail telling them what they're being charged with. For misdemeanors, the Prosecutor has up to 1 year from the date of the incident to file charges against you. At court, the judge will read the charges to you and ask if you want to plead guilty or not guilty.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 6/11/2015
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD
    Mace J. Yampolsky, LTD | Mace Yampolsky
    You must be noticed of the charges usually you will given a citation at the scene. But there must be a citation and you are entitled to it.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 6/11/2015
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    They can arrest you on a warrant and take you to jail, and force you to make a bond, OR do it the way that they have done it.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/11/2015
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