Clients often question our Union County criminal attorney about arrests, booking procedures and bail. If you have been arrested, you will want to know what you need to do to be released. The courts follow specific procedures prior to a release, including booking you into custody and holding a bail hearing where a judge or magistrate will decide how much if any bail you must pay. After you have paid bail or retained the services of a bond agent to accomplish this for you, you will be released. Our Union County criminal attorney reviews the bail amount to ensure that it is fair and helps you as needed in order to expedite your release from custody.
Step One: The Arrest
If you have been taken into custody and do not have the freedom to leave, you have been arrested, even if you were not handcuffed. If law enforcement personnel read you your rights, you have also been arrested. However, sometimes the police do not tell people that they are under arrest. In some cases, questionable arrest procedures could affect if evidence is admitted in court or even mean the dismissal of your case. Discuss the circumstances surrounding your arrest with our Union County criminal attorney in order to determine if your rights were violated.
Step 2: Booking Procedures
Once you have been formally arrested, the authorities will book you into custody. This involves asking you certain questions about your personal background and related history and organizing information about the alleged offense. The officer will write up a police report, including your statements, about the incident. You will be fingerprinted and photographed, and another jail employee will run a criminal background check on you. The police will take your personal items, including your clothing, and store them until it’s time for your release. You will then be placed in a holding cell.
Step 3: The Bail Hearing
Bail means that you, or a designated representative, pay a predetermined amount of money to the court to ensure that you attend all court hearings as directed and to ensure that you do not leave the area. The bail amount depends on the type of crime; those accused of misdemeanors will likely pay a reduced bail or even none at all while someone accused of a more serious offense, especially a crime against a person, will likely need to pay a high amount of bail. If the judge decides that you do not need to pay bail, you will be released on your personal recognizance or on your own word and good name in the community. The judge will review your case, the alleged offense, your criminal history, if you are employed, community connections, your financial situation and how long you have lived at your residence and in the community. He or she will then evaluate if you will appear for your upcoming court hearings and if you pose a risk to community safety. In some cases, you could be held without bail if you are a flight risk or a threat to the community. If you have access to money, you might also need to pay a higher bail amount in order to impact you of the severity of your offense. With or without bail, the courts will likely impose conditions of release, including:
- Travel restrictions
- Regular visits from a court-appointed official
- Calls to the same official
- Prohibitions on alcohol consumption
- Court-ordered drug and/or alcohol tests and
- Restrictions on contact with listed victims and/or witnesses in the case.
Your Union County criminal attorney can help you determine if any of these terms are unfair and make your case to the judge. In addition, he or she can walk you through the entire process of these procedures.
Contact Our Union County Criminal Attorney
Our Union County criminal attorney at the Khan Law Offices can answer your concerns and provide you with additional information on arrests, booking and bail. Call us at 704-774-6426.