If you’ve been arrested, you’re probably wondering what to expect. The process can be confusing and intimidating, but it’s important to understand your rights and options as a citizen. Keep reading for a comprehensive rundown of what to expect if you’ve been arrested.
You may be released after you are arrested
Once the police have escorted you to your local police department, you may be held in jail or released on your own recognizance. If you are released, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook—you will likely have to appear in court at a later date.
The prosecutor will then decide whether to file charges against you after you are arrested. If the prosecutor files charges, you will likely have to post bail or remain in jail until your trial. If you cannot make bail, you will be transferred to county jail.
If you have to spend some time in jail, you’ll have to get your information in the police department’s booking system. This process includes collecting your belongings, fingerprints, and mugshot.
Mugshots are usually taken by the police department when someone is arrested and booked into jail, and the photos are used for identification purposes.
In some states, mugshots taken after you are arrested are made public record. This means that anyone can access them online or in print. You will also be allowed to make phone calls, so be sure to call your lawyer and family members.
You will have the opportunity to speak to a lawyer before any questioning.
You will have the opportunity to speak to a lawyer before any questioning. The lawyer will be able to help you understand your rights and may be able to represent you during questioning.
When you’re arrested, your lawyer will try to get as much information as possible about the charges against you. They will want to know what the specific charges are, what the potential penalties are, and what the evidence against you is. Next, they will try to get you released from custody. This may involve posting bail or arguing for a release on your own recognizance.
Once you’re out of custody after being arrested, your lawyer will start preparing your defence. This may involve filing motions to dismiss the charges, gathering evidence to support your defence, and negotiating with the prosecutor.
If the case goes to trial, your lawyer will present your defence and argue on your behalf. They will also cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses and try to poke holes in their case. If you’re found guilty, your lawyer will work to get the best possible sentence for you. This may involve arguing for a lesser sentence or trying to get the charges reduced.
You will have a date to appear in court for your arraignment hearing.
At this point, whether you’re in jail or not, a date will be set for your arraignment hearing, when you will appear in court and learn the charges against you. At your hearing, the judge will consider your current status and may release you on your own recognizance or set bail.
If bail is set, you may post it yourself or ask a friend or family member to do so on your behalf. If the judge decides you should remain in custody after you are arrested, they will issue a warrant for your arrest.
At this point, you’ll want to reconvene with your lawyer and see what else they can do to help your case. You could file for an appeal or complete your required jail time. Either way, make sure you communicate your thoughts to your lawyer and make the most logical decision.
Knowing how to navigate each stage of your arrest will help you handle this stressful situation with more clarity. By following this guide, you’ll experience a more seamless arrest and potentially avoid jail time.