If you have been arrested and no charges are filed against you, the arresting agency must reduce your arrest to a detention and send you documentation of such. Unfortunately, this rarely happens.
In 2016, in Schmidt v. California Highway Patrol, a lawsuit against the California Highway Patrol made its way to the Second District appellate court. Citizens were upset that CHP was not following through with its legal duty of reducing these arrests to detentions. The appellate court ruled that the arresting agencies must reduce the arrests.
Proper Defense attorney Sally Vecchiarelli took the initiative to reach out to local Fresno and Clovis law enforcement agencies and their respective legal counsel to discuss this issue. Since then, the agencies have set up procedures by which to follow through with their legal obligation.
At Proper Defense, we encourage clients to seek representation as soon as they are arrested, even if charges are not filed yet. We will follow up with the district attorney’s office to determine whether charges will be filed. Once we are told that charges will not be filed, we contact the arresting law enforcement agency and ensure that your arrest is reduced to a detention as soon as possible.