Arrested in Kentucky FAQs

At Busald Funk Zevely, we understand how stressful being under arrest can be. We want you to be protected every step of the way. If you have any additional questions, contact one of our knowledgeable attorneys today.

When are you under arrest?

You are arrested when law enforcement officers take you into custody or otherwise deprive you of your freedom of movement in any significant way in order to hold you to answer for a criminal offense.

The police officer is obligated to identify himself and to advise you that you are under arrest and why, unless circumstances make it impossible for him to do so at that time.

When you are served the appropriate papers having to do with your arrest you will be given a court date. If you are charged with a misdemeanor you should be prepared to either plead guilty or prepare a defense to the charges against you.

If you are charged with a felony you will be required to come to a court for a "first appearance" where the judge will determine that you understand the nature of the charges against you and inquire if you have an attorney.

If you want an attorney and demonstrate your need to the court by "Certificate of Indigency" you may be allowed an appointed attorney. A "probable cause" hearing will be scheduled, the purpose of which is to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to bind the charges over for trial in Circuit Court.

If you are facing an arrest in Northern Kentucky, contact one of our experienced attorneys at Busald Funk Zevely to help. We understand how difficult this time can be and we will be in your corner throughout it all.

May a law enforcement officer detain you without arresting you?

Based upon reasonable suspicion that you may be involved in criminal activity a police officer may require you to identify yourself and explain your presence at a particular time, without arresting you. The officer may not remove you from the immediate vicinity without making an arrest unless you voluntarily accompany him to some other location.

If the officer has reasonable grounds to believe that you are armed and/or that you may be dangerous to yourself or others, he may conduct a limited pat-down of your outer garments for the purpose of detecting weapons. If this "frisk" results in reasonable belief on the part of the officer that you are carrying a weapon, he may remove the suspicious object for the purpose of protecting himself. The officer must return to you any lawful object he finds unless he places you under arrest. Unless you are under arrest, his frisk or search must be limited to suspected weapons.

The officer may want to ask you some questions in order to complete his investigation report. You have a constitutional right to not answer them.

If you should enter a retail establishment where goods are placed on display and for sale, the merchant or his employees may detain you on the premises for a reasonable time for questioning if they have probable cause to believe that you have stolen or have attempted to steal goods for sale. Under such circumstances a police officer called to the scene may make an arrest for shoplifting even though the alleged offense was not committed in his presence.

The legal process in Florence, Kentucky can be overwhelming, which is why we at Busald Funk Zevely are here to help. Contact one of our experienced attorneys to champion your court case and protect your rights.

When may you be arrested with or without a warrant?

When may you be arrested with a warrant?

A police officer may arrest you at any time if he has warrant for your arrest, or if he has knowledge that a warrant for your arrest has been issued.

A warrant is an order issued by a court charging that you have committed a particular crime and directing the Sheriff and all police officers of the state to arrest you and bring you before the court. You may require the officer to read the warrant after you have been arrested.

An arrest warrant should not be confused with a search warrant.

When may you be arrested without a warrant?

A police officer may make an arrest under a variety of circumstances. Among these circumstances are:

  • When he knows that a warrant has been issued for your arrest and is still in effect even though the warrant may be held by another police officer.
  • When the arresting officer has probable cause to believe that a felony has been or is being committed and that you are the person who has committed or is committing the felony.
  • When a misdemeanor is committed in the presence of the officer, or if the officer has probable cause to believe you are DUI, have shoplifted, have committed an act of domestic violence, and other limited instances.


If you have additional questions about being arrested in Kentucky, reach out to one of our knowledgeable attorneys today. We understand how difficult the legal system can be and we are standing by to navigate you through the process.

When may you be searched?

While the law of search and seizure is very complex and often will depend on the facts and circumstances in a particular case you should not resist a search with force; however, neither should you consent, in general, to any search. If you do object to a particular search, advise the officer who is conducting it that you do not consent, that you do object to the search and ask him to identify himself.

In most cases involving search and seizure issues, "reasonableness" of the search is the legal test without a search warrant. If police officers arrive at your premises armed with a search warrant they may search only that portion or area authorized in the warrant itself. You are entitled to have a copy of the search warrant and a list of any items found and taken during the search.

Any extension of the search beyond the provision of the warrant would be unlawful, but, your remedy for this lies with the courts and the officer's efforts should not be resisted with force.

What if you're at home?

If you are arrested in your home, the officers may conduct a limited search of the immediate area where you are arrested without a search warrant. They may also check the rest of the house for any hidden accomplices. They may seize any contraband or stolen property or instrumentalities or evidence of a crime that they discover in plain view in any portion of the house where the officers have a right to be.

What if you're in a car?

When you are arrested while driving your automobile, the officer may make a limited search of your car at the time for the purpose of discovering weapons which might be used against them. They may not make a general search of your automobile unless there is a probable cause that the vehicle is carrying the fruits or instrumentalities of a crime or contraband.

Your automobile may also be impounded and inventoried if there is no qualified licensed driver or towing agent to take care of it. If an officer is about to impound your car, tell him that you have a relative or friend that will come get it, or that you have a preference of your own station, etc., to tow your car.

If you believe you have been illegally searched or you have further questions about search and seizure, contact our team to help. We want to ensure you have a strong team behind you, fighting for the protection you deserve.

What force may the officer use in making an arrest?

The officer may employ all reasonable and necessary force to overcome resistance in making a lawful arrest. The legality of the arrest has nothing to do with whether or not you are ultimately convicted. As long as the officer has reasonable grounds for making the arrest at the time of the arrest, you will not later be heard to complain that the arrest was unlawful merely because you were not found guilty.

Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor. You could be convicted of resisting arrest even if you were not found guilty of the crime for which you were arrested.

Obstructing an officer in his duty is also a misdemeanor.

If you believe that your rights are being violated, make it a point to remember exactly what the police officer did and then advise your attorney concerning this at the earliest possible time.

At Busald Funk Zevely, we understand the complexities of the legal system and how to best negotiate your case. Contact one of our Florence, Kentucky criminal law attorneys to learn how we can help you.

What procedures are usually followed when you are arrested?

The officer will take you to a police station or the Sheriff's office.

You will be advised generally as to the charges against you. However, these charges may be changed later and stated in more detail by the prosecutor or in some instances by the grand jury.

You may be required to participate in a lineup, to prepare a sample of your penmanship, to speak phrases associated with the crime with which you are charged, to wear certain apparel. You have an absolute right to counsel. If you are arrested, you should immediately ask to talk to and contact a lawyer.

You may also be required to be photographed or fingerprinted.

At Busald Funk Zevely, our team is here to offer advice, guidance, and support. Our knowledgeable team will answer your questions and keep you informed every step of the way. Contact us today if you or a loved one has questions about being arrested in Boone County.

What happens to personal property that you may have with you?

If you should be booked into a jail the police may take money and property from you for safekeeping. They will carefully inventory your money and property and give you a copy of the inventory.

At the time of your release from jail, your property, that is not evidence, will be returned to you. You will be given the opportunity to sign the property list. You should make certain that the list includes all items taken from you.

If you or a loved one is facing possible incarceration, contact our team of experienced criminal law attorneys to see how we can help.

What are your rights after you have been arrested?

You have a right to know the crime or crimes with which you have been charged.

You have a right to know the identity of the policemen who are dealing with you.

You have the right to communicate by telephone with your attorney or family or friends as soon as you are brought to the police station as practicable. The police have the right to complete their booking procedures before you are allowed to use the telephone.

You have the right to be represented by counsel at all critical stages of your case. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will appoint an attorney to represent you free of charge if you qualify under existing criteria as an indigent. This right pertains to any offense, however trivial, for which any imprisonment whatsoever might result.

Constitutional rights may be waived or given up voluntarily. Before you say or sign anything that might result in a waiver of a constitutional right, weigh your decision carefully and contact one of our knowledgeable criminal law attorneys in Boone Country for help.

What rights do you have when you are being questioned by police?



You have the right to remain silent.

If you choose to speak anything you say can be used against you in court.

If you decide to answer any questions you may stop at any time and the questioning will cease.

You have the right to consult with your attorney before answering any questions. You have the right to have your attorney present if you decide to answer any questions, and if you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you or appointed for you by the court without cost to you before any further questions may be asked.

If you're facing criminal charges from Northern Kentucky, contact one of our experienced criminal lawyers to discuss your case.

How may you be released?

You may be released on your own recognizance, without posting any money, or you may be released on bond which involves the posting of either cash money or a surety bond as security for your court appearance. This may mean a relative or friend may have to sign your bond to assure your appearance. You may also, in more serious crimes, be permitted to put up real estate in Kentucky that you or a friend owns.

If you are taken into custody and booked into the jail and remain there you must be brought before a court within 24 hours of arrest. At that appearance, you may request that the court lower your bond in consideration of your ties with the community, financial resources, employment records or any other factors.

Upon arrival at the jail, or shortly thereafter, you will be afforded the opportunity to contact your attorney. The attorney, in turn, may arrange for the posting of a bond and he may appear with you in court and ask the court to lower the bail if he believes it to be excessive under the circumstances.

If you are facing criminal charges in Northern Kentucky, our team at Busald Funk Zevely is standing by to be your advocate. Contact us today for help.