Regardless of why you or a loved one has been arrested, the events that follow an arrest can be confusing. If you have been arrested, you may feel scared and uneasy. Or, if a loved one has been taken in, you may feel confused, worried, and stressed as you work to get your loved one released.
Below, we’ve outlined the events that occur after an arrest so you better understand your current situation and know who to turn to for assistance. Read on so you can be prepared in the event that you or a loved one has been or gets arrested.
Getting Transported and Booked
After the police have arrived at your location, arrested you, and read you your Miranda rights, you’ll be transported to that district’s police station or jail. Once you arrive at the station, you are processed, or booked, into the police’s system.
A police officer will take your personal information, such as your full name and date of birth; note information about the crime you were arrested for; take your fingerprints and photograph; and search your person and remove any person items, such as your keys, wallet, jewelry, and medication. Sometimes, you may also have to provide a DNA sample during booking.
During this entire process, the officer who books you into police custody will also search for your past criminal history (if you have one) and any outstanding warrants. To discover if there are any warrants out for your arrest, the officer must send your information and fingerprints to the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
The DOJ will then process those details within a few hours and return their findings back to the police station.
Waiting in Jail vs. Getting Bailed Out
Once the booking process is completed, you’ll be moved to a holding cell in the police station you were taken to. Depending on the crime you were charged with, you may have to wait in jail until a bail hearing is set. If the crime was minor, you may be eligible to post bail soon after your arrest.
If you must wait for a bail hearing before you can be released, you’ll stay in the holding cell until your appearance. At that hearing, a judge will be given vital information about the case and then determine whether or not bail should be set for your case. The amount you’ll pay for bail will depend on the severity of the crime and if you’ve committed it before.
Sometimes, a judge may deny bail, and you’ll have to wait in jail while your case goes to trial.
If you are eligible for bail, you can pay the fee yourself if you have the funds. However, if you can’t afford to pay bail out of your own pocket, you can work with a bail bondsperson to post bail for you. Family members can also post bail on your behalf.
If you cannot make the full payment most bail bonds companies will work with you on a payment plan or you or someone else uses an item, such as a house or car, as collateral, and the bail bonds company will pay your bail fee. However, when you post bail, you must make your court appearance. Failing to do so can lead to another arrest and can cause you or your loved one to lose the item put up for collateral, and a bond recovery agent will bring you to the authorities to be booked again and placed in a holding cell until your court date.
Preparing for Your Court Appearance
After you’ve been let out on bail, you must abide by certain conditions to stay out of jail until your hearing. While you’re at home waiting for your court date, you can work with a lawyer if necessary and gather evidence to support your case.
During the arraignment, you will make a plea (guilty or not guilty). Based on information provided about the crime, the judge will determine if your specific case will go to trial. Depending on the crime and the presented information, the judge may simply charge you with a fine or community service. These verdicts usually result for smaller crimes that are first-time offenses.
If you were convicted of a more serious crime, your case may go to trial, where more evidence will be presented to the judge and a jury of your peers. After the trail has concluded, you will receive a different verdict if you’re found guilty-usually a larger fine and jail time.
Trusting the Right People
If you’ve been arrested, you needn’t feel scared or alone. You can turn to trusted individuals to bail you out of jail and help you prepare for a court appearance.
If you are unable to pay for your full bail amount, contact All Star Bail Bonds. Our bail bonds experts can help you post bail for yourself or a loved one. We’ll explain our process to you fully so you understand exactly how we can help you during this difficult time.