After Getting Arrested
You should know what to
expect after getting arrested.
few things in life as stressful and
unsettling as getting arrested. It helps
to know what to expect in the hours,
weeks and months following your arrest.
with, the police will handcuff you,
probably with your hands behind your
back. They do that for safety reasons
and rarely, if ever, make exceptions.
Then, they will search you. If you have
any illegal items, and they miss them,
those items likely will turn up in the
second search at the jail. That could
lead to additional charges of taking
contraband into a jail.
will drive you to the county jail, where
you will be photographed, fingerprinted,
and possibly given a brief examination
by a jail nurse. You will be searched
again. This can include a cavity search.
You will turn over your personal
belongings, receive a receipt, and
likely be issued a jumpsuit and slip-on
shoes. From there, you will go to a
do not talk to anyone in the jail about
getting arrested or the specifics of
your case. The guy in the cell with you
might seem friendly enough - until he
testifies against you. And that phone
you're allowed to use? Careful what you
say there, as well. Conversations with
anyone other than an attorney are not
protected, and can be recorded.
into county jail
booking process can take up to 12 hours
after getting arrested and taken to
jail. Once you are booked, you can post
bond and be released for misdemeanors
and most felonies. Depending on the
charges, your bail can range from a few
hundred to several thousand dollars. You
will be allowed to call a bail bondsman,
who will charge 10 percent of the bail
as his fee. You may also have to put up
some sort of collateral for large bonds.
cannot afford bail, you can ask a judge
to lower the amount. California law
requires that you be taken before a
judge for arraignment within 48 hours of
getting arrested. The judge will tell
you the charges against you, and
reconsider bail at that point.
misdemeanor charge is one punishable by
a small fine and up to one year in
county jail. A felony is a more serious
charge punishable by heavier fines, more
than one year in state prison and the
loss of certain rights, such as the
right to own a gun or vote. The police
may tell you the charges when you are
your defense attorney, will enter a plea
to the charges. From there, you will
have a series of pre-trial hearings or
case management conferences so that both
sides can file motions and come to an
agreement on a plea deal or trial date.
In felony cases, there is a preliminary
hearing in which prosecutors present
evidence of the crime you allegedly
committed. The judge will decide whether
there is enough evidence to go forward.
your criminal case
will end one of three ways after getting
arrested: The prosecution drops the
charges, or the judge dismisses them;
your defense attorney arranges a plea
bargain, usually for lesser charges; or
you go to trial (Preparing for Criminal
Court ), and the jury issues a verdict.
case goes to trial, your defense
attorney and the prosecution will pick a
jury, then present opening arguments.
The prosecution will present its case
first. Your defense attorney
cross-examine the state's witnesses to
find any weaknesses in the evidence.
Then, he will present your side of the
case. You are not required to testify,
and the judge will instruct the jurors
that they cannot use that as evidence
against you if you do not.
sides have rested, the judge will
instruct the jury on the relevant law,
then the jury will go to another room to
deliberate. The jury's decision must be
unanimous and, in order to convict, the
jurors must agree that the prosecution
proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
jury reaches a verdict, it will be
presented in court. If you are
acquitted, you can never be tried on
those charges again. If you are
convicted, you have a right to an