As any Jacksonville criminal defense attorney will tell you, there are specific procedures that must be followed in any arrest. Being arrested can be frightening and it may seem as if it takes forever from the time you are arrested until you appear in court. Understanding the process can reduce some of the fear and stress as you will better understand the steps that must be followed throughout the procedure.
The first step in the arrest process is the filing of a complaint or other charging document. Often, this occurs after an investigation that may have gone on for a long time or may have been conducted quickly, depending on the circumstances of the case. You may have suspected the arrest was coming based on questions asked in an investigation or the arrest may come as a complete surprise as police do not have to warn a suspect that they plan to issue an arrest warrant. In either case, you will want to discuss your circumstances with a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The complaint or charging document is presented to a judge who then issues the arrest warrant. Once it has been issued, the police arrive at your home or business to put you under arrest.
The booking process after an arrest can vary depending on the location and what agency arrested you, but most follow the same pattern. Once you are arrested, you are transported to the police station and booked. This involves confirming your identity and recording the arrest, which will involve photographing you, known as a mug shot, and taking your fingerprints. You will be asked questions and a database will be used to search for any prior criminal offenses. The questions asked may include:
- Where you live
- Your nationality and immigration status
- Health Issues
Although it may be done as soon as you are arrested, at this point you may be read your Miranda Rights. In some cases, the police may read them at the time of arrest and again once you are booked. Once you have been booked, you may be able to make a phone call to a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney.
Bond or Bail
After you have been processed at the police station, you may be released on what is known as your own recognizance, which means you do not have to post bail and the police believe you will return for your court dates. However, depending on the charge and your risk of flight, you may have to attend a bond hearing at the courthouse. At that time, a judge will determine how much, if any, bond must be posted for your release. If your bond is high, you may need to use the services of a bail bondsman who will require at least ten percent of your bond be paid to them in order to insure your return to court. In some cases, you can use equity in your home or other property as collateral for the bail. In some cases, bail may be set low enough a family member or friend can pay the amount in full. If so, your bond is returned to you as long as you appear in court as ordered. The fee paid to a bail bondsman is not returned to you, but if you do not show up in court, you will be required to pay the bail bondsman your entire bail.
Contact Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney
If you or a loved one has been arrested and you don’t know where to turn, contact Canan Law to speak to a Jacksonville criminal defense attorney about your case. You can reach them by phone at (904) 849-2266.