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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Crim Defense Atty
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1805
Experience:  CA Atty since 1976, primarily criminal law. 150+ jury trials.
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I found out I had a warrant. I was arraigned. But they never

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I found out I had a warrant. I was arraigned. But they never physically arrested me, booked me, read Miranda rights, fingerprinted or anything. Would this be grounds for dismissal now, or after a conviction?

Hello 11ks0fv5 and welcome to JustAnswer.

Being physically arrested, booked, fingerprinted or advised of your rights are not prerequisites to a prosecution for committing a crime. In other words, the DA can proceed with a case even if none of those things ever happened.

Submitting yourself for arraignment on the charges is the legal equivalent of having been arrested and brought before the court involuntarily.

Booking, including fingerprinting, which is part of the booking process, is designed to create a record of a person's arrest. If you are ultimately convicted of the charges and sentenced to jail, you will be booked and printed upon entering into custody. Even if you are granted probation without a jail sentence, the court can order that you submit to the booking process for the purpose of creating your criminal record (and most likely will do so). Depending on the nature of the charges, in California you can also be required to submit DNA samples (by way of a cheek swab).

As for Miranda rights, the police are required to advise you of those rights only if you are in custody and being questioned. Since you were never arrested and never taken into custody, there was never a need (or even an opportunity) for you to be advised of your Miranda rights.

When you were arraigned, you should have been advised of your rights in court (including the right to counsel and the right to testify or not testify as you choose), which is the functional equivalent, under these circumstances, of being given your Miranda rights.


In the end, none of these circumstances is grounds for dismissal of the charges, either before or after conviction. On the other hand, for some charges there are post-conviction procedures for getting the conviction set aside and the charges dismissed (generally speaking, most misdemeanors and some felonies for which the defendant is not sentenced to prison). The code section for this procedure is Penal Code section 1203.4.

Thanks again for asking your question here on JustAnswer. If you have any other questions about this situation, please let me know.

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