When an officer places you under arrest, you need to be aware of what to expect. Knowing what’s to come can enable you to get your situation in order while also protecting yourself against further legal issues.
Remember that once you are under arrest, you have certain rights and responsibilities. You also are at the mercy of the court from this point forward.
The arresting officer must explain your rights to you. FindLaw states that these include your right to an attorney and the right to remain silent. You should exercise these rights. Do not talk to anyone until you secure an attorney.
Pay close attention when the officer reads you your rights. He or she should read them in full. If the officer failed to do so, you need to let your attorney know as soon as possible.
Once you get to the jail, the booking process begins. An officer will take your picture and fingerprint you. You will likely go through a strip search. You will go into a holding cell at this point. You may have to give up your clothing and shoes and wear jail attire, but this does not always happen.
Shortly after your arrest, you will go in front of a judge. This usually happens within 72 hours of your arrest. The judge will read the charges against you and ask for your plea. If you do not plead guilty, then the judge will typically set bail.
Justia explains bail is the amount of money you must pay to get out of jail until your trial date. It is a security deposit of sorts that guarantees you will show up for your next court date.
Typically, the bail will be a high dollar amount. You can pay it in full if you are able, but most people will seek a cash bail bond.
You will need to work with a bail bonds agent to secure a bond. The agent will pay the bond for you. You must pay only a percentage directly to the agent. You also must put up collateral to secure your bond.
When your trial date comes, if you paid your bail out of your own pocket and show up at court, then you will get your money back from the court. If you used an agent and you show up to court, the agent gets his or her money back and releases the hold on your collateral.
If you fail to show up at court, you forfeit the bond you paid. If you used an agent this also means you lose the collateral you put up for the bond. The court will also issue a warrant for your arrest.
From Beginning to End
It is imperative that you understand the arrest process and what happens after your arrest. You want to protect yourself and have the potential to fight the charges against you. It also can make things less stressful when you know what will happen. Plus, you should plan ahead for paying your bond so that you aren’t stuck in jail until your trial.