Most people go through life assuming they will never be caught on the wrong side of the law. After all, no one seeks to be arrested. But arrests still happen. Whether you are guilty of the alleged crime or not, it is still important to go know what the process will look like, so you know what to expect, and what behavior to not put up with.
What You Face After an Arrest
An arrest goes further than just slapping handcuffs on someone’s wrists. There are a lot of steps that officers must take in order to arrest someone legally. The entire process could take hours, even a couple days, to be officially completed.
Once you are brought to the local police department, you will go through what is known as booking. This is when your information is recorded so that it can be accessed by other police departments in the event that you are arrested again, or if you are a suspect in a different case. The booking process will include your fingerprints being recorded, and your photo, often known as a “mugshot,” being taken.
Once you have been properly booked, you will be placed in a holding cell. Most police departments have a few cells where they can temporarily hold people. You should only be in a holding cell for 24-48 hours after an arrest. They are not meant to be permanent housing and should never be used as such.
Within 24-48 hours of your arrest, while you are still in holding, you will be given a bail hearing. These hearings are most often conducted over video feed, meaning you will likely not be transported anywhere. During this hearing, a judge will look over your case and decide how high to set your bail. There are many factors that the judge will take into consideration during, including:
- The bail schedule
- Your criminal history
- The severity of the alleged crime
- Whether there are any alleged victims
- If you are a flight risk
Once the judge takes all of that into consideration, they will make a ruling on your bail. They will choose to grant you bail, not grant you bail, or to release you without bail after signing an agreement, trusting you to attend your trial and other court proceedings of your own volition. Most often, you will be granted bail.
After your bail hearing is done, the next step will be transportation. As we said, the cells in a police department are not meant to hold people for long periods of time. This means that, if you are waiting for your trial behind bars, you will have to be taken to a facility that is equipped to hold you for weeks on end. Trials do not pass quickly. They can take months to complete, even years under certain circumstances. This means you will have to stay in a jail with long-term holding cells. There will likely be one either in your town or in the next town over. In most circumstances, you will be moved to a facility close to where your trial will take place, in order to make transportation as easy as possible.
You can pay bail once your bail has been set by the judge in charge of your hearing. At any point between that hearing and the conclusion of your trial, you are free to pay your bail. Once your bail has been paid, you will be released from the holding facility, and be allowed back home, or to a third location depending on the circumstances of your crime. For example, if you are being charged with domestic violence, then you may be ordered to avoid contact with your alleged victim, and that may mean not staying in your home.
What You Should Do After an Arrest
Once you have been arrested, you should first contact an attorney, or contact a family member who can get you an attorney. Following that, you should contact a bail bond agency nearby. Paying bail is incredibly important to your welfare. While it is optional, not paying bail means that you could be behind bars for several months. Remember, trials take a considerable amount of time to conclude. That means you will be unable to work, unable to see family, and unable to build your defense with your attorney outside of visiting hours.
If you have been arrested, then paying bail should be one of your top priorities. That is where we at Balboa Bail Bonds come in. We offer flexible payments plans and a low 10% premium, meaning that everyone who calls us can afford to post bail. To speak to a member of our team of agents, call us at (619) 760-2222 today.