The MacNeil Firm Ltd.

What Happens In The First 24 Hours After An Arrest?


After an arrest, the first question you probably have is how do I get myself out of jail or custody? This happens in one of two ways. For most misdemeanor offenses, bail can be set by rule of court. This means the jurisdiction where you were arrested decides how much money you need to post to get out of custody. The range is anywhere from $0 to $300. If released with no money, you promise to show up in court, we recognize that as an Individual Recognizance bond. It is sometimes called an I Bond, Recog Bond, or an OR Bond. Most police departments will allow you to post your own bond with cash, or credit card.

All felony charges require an appearance in court. A judge will set the bond. Certain misdemeanors such as domestic violence, or domestic battery charges also require bail be set by a judge. I frequently am retained by an arrestee’s family to represent at the bail or bond hearing. Most of the time I can obtain a lower bail amount.

What Rights Do I Have After I Am Arrested?

First, you have the right to remain silent and not talk to any law enforcement. This is a critical right. Many people waive or ignore the right to remain silent, because they think they will look bad to a judge if they refuse to talk to police. This is 100% inaccurate. Any incriminating statement is frequently the difference between a guilty or a not guilty verdict. This is why avoiding any admission is of paramount importance. There are other rights included after an initial arrest, which are various trial rights. For example, you have the right to a speedy and public jury trial by 12 people, you have a right to see and hear witnesses at your trial, you also have the right to remain silent at trial, and that would not be held against you. You also have the right to the presumption of innocence.

One common question people ask me is whether they have a right to make a phone call. Although most police departments will give you that option, it is not considered a right. I am often asked what happens if someone has not had their rights read to them. Those rights, frequently called Miranda Rights, only apply if the police ask you questions about the crime. If not, then they are not required to read them to you. On television and in the movies police usually read the rights as the person is being stuffed into the police car and arrested. Real life is different. Often the rights are not read. Only if law enforcement are going to ask questions about the crime are the Miranda rights required.

Will I Be Arraigned Before Being Released From Jail?

No, you will not be released from jail prior to an arraignment. An arraignment is what we refer to as the formal presentation of the charges. This usually happens on the first court date for a misdemeanor charge. In felony cases, arraignments happen either after a finding of probable cause by the court, or after the return of a True Bill of Indictment by the grand jury.

At What Time Should I Contact An Attorney After A DUI Arrest?

The sooner you contact a lawyer the better. Early intervention is critical to success in almost every case. If possible, it would be ideal for a family member to retain a lawyer to assert the arrestee’s rights and avoid an interrogation. It is also preferred to have an attorney at the bond hearing, because an attorney can argue a strong statement to make the bond lower. Most people retain me before their first court date, which is what I prefer. It puts me in the best possible position to defend a case. Some people wait until after they have been to court a couple of times prior to calling my office. This is perfectly fine, but I prefer to be involved as early as possible on a case.

Most police officers will not let you consult an attorney prior to submitting to a breath, blood or a urine test. I have had a situation on prior occasions where the police officers let clients call me, but it is rare. The law on chemical testing is what is referred to as Implied Consent. This means there is no right to consult with counsel prior to making a decision on whether or not to take the test.

After I Have Been Released From Jail What Paperwork Will Be handed To Me?

In every case, you leave jail or the police department with the bond slip. This has your court date information and will indicate what, if any, money was posted for bail. In DUI cases, you will leave with copies of the tickets as well. Sometimes, in a felony or misdemeanor criminal case, they may give you a copy of the criminal complaint, but this is not required. If your car was towed, you will be given information on that as well. In DUIs, you should be provided with a copy of a document called the Notice of Summary Suspension, which includes another document entitled Warnings to Motorists.

The notice of summary suspension indicates whether you have submitted, or refused to take the breath, urine, or blood test. The warnings to motorist are a document that a police officer is required to read to you prior to asking you to submit to the chemical tests. Usually, you are asked to sign for this.

For more information on Aftermath Of An Arrest, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 290-9170 today.

Donald N. Macneil, Esq.

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