What Happens In The First 24 Hours After An Arrest?
Once you have been arrested, the first thing that you need to do is assert your right to remain silent, and your right to have counsel present during any and all questions. At the time you’re arrested and taken into custody, custodial interrogation require that your Miranda Rights be read prior to any questioning. Your Miranda Rights are 1) your right to remain silent, and 2) your right to have counsel present. If there is any attempt made by law enforcement to try to question you about the facts of the arrest, or circumstances surrounding the incident, you need to assert and repeat over and over to preserve your rights.
Within the first 24 hours of arrest, you’ll be taken to the jail. You’ll be fingerprinted, booked into the jail system, and placed in a holding cell. Depending on the type of case, there might be additional questioning that would happen at that time. For instance, if it was a DUII, you might be placed in a holding cell until they can access the Intoxilyzer machine. There might be other circumstances where they need to place you in the holding cell and then bring you out for a continued interview to figure out what type of person you are. Usually, they will conduct a release interview of you asking questions about a job, permanent residence in the county, community ties, criminal history, any sort of treatment that you are involved in, substance abuse treatment, and other things like that.
The jail is going to want to know that information from the beginning, to decide whether or not you meet criteria for being a lower risk offender, somebody that they’re comfortable releasing. They want to know you’re established well enough in the community, will not commit new crimes, and you are someone that’s likely to return to the next court appearance, and therefore doesn’t need to be housed in jail or detained awaiting their trial or pretrial dates.
Within the first 24 hours of your being detained, there has to be a probable cause finding made, which is a statement given by law enforcement officers, and a finding made by the court that there is probable cause to detain you. You can’t be deprived liberty and due process because that initial finding being made.
If you are arrested during the week, you will be scheduled for an arraignment appearance within that 24 hours. If you are arrested during the weekend, then you will be placed on the docket for an arraignment in front of the judge on the following Monday. If it’s a Friday night, Saturday, or Sunday, you’ll be placed for arraignment on a Monday in most jurisdictions.
Should Someone Call An Attorney Or A Family Member After An Arrest?
If you have one phone call that you’re allowed to make, unless you already have an attorney retained prior to your arrest, I would use that phone call to call a family member. This person should advocate for you, and organize further phone calls between an attorney and yourself, or be the contact between your attorney and yourself. It’s not uncommon to have family members reach out to me and request attorney contact on behalf of their loved ones in jail. I then make contact with them at the jail, and we work out the details of the service agreement from there.
Use your best discretion, and call someone who you are certain is going to answer the phone because you do only get that one phone call. Otherwise, you would have to place money in a system at the jail, or a similar system to make further phone calls. You would have to have that cash on hand or something that you could start an account on behalf of yourself to make additional phone calls. If you know someone that is definitely going to answer that phone call, call that person.
The limited circumstance would be for instance if you are involved in a domestic violence situation, and your spouse is the alleged other person in the incident, then your first phone call obviously can’t be to that person, because that would be seen as potentially tampering with the witness or harassing that witness. Depending on where you are in the adjudication process, it can result in further criminal charges, and maybe even a contempt of court charge if there is a no contact order already placed. If there is an alleged victim in your case, and you’ve been instructed by the court not to contact that victim, don’t do it—even if it is your significant other.
Other than that, call whomever—your best friend, a coworker, someone that you know could be an advocate for you to go around, gather information such as names of attorneys and people that specialize in certain area, or their experience in certain area of the law in which you’ve been arrested for.
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