Being arrested is intimidating. Having your freedom taken away while you are taken into custody can be stressful. You may not know what to expect after an arrest in California. Most people are primarily concerned about how long they will be in jail after they are arrested. Your time in jail will depend on your charge and some of the facts and circumstances of your case.
More than a million people experience an arrest in California every year. An arrest does not mean an automatic conviction. What happens between an arrest and a conviction is little understood by the public. Following a California arrest, you could be released immediately or held until your arraignment. You can also be released from jail before being arraigned if the prosecutor decides to not file charges.
If you are being held until your arraignment you will typically wait no longer than two days in jail. This short time frame is thanks to your right to a speedy trial as protected by the Sixth Amendment. You have a right to freedom from unnecessary delays in your prosecution if you are in custody. If court is in session, you could be arraigned the same day. If it is a weekend, however, you could have to wait until the next court day. You will be brought from jail to the courtroom by a police officer or bailiff. There could be several outcomes after your arraignment. You could be released or kept in jail depending on what happened at the arraignment and what is happening next in your case.
You could still be released before your arraignment even if charges have been filed. You could either be released on bail or released on your own recognizance. In both of these cases, you are being trusted to return to court on your arraignment date. You could forfeit your bail and/or a bench warrant could be issued for your arrest if you fail to return to court. If you are arrested on a bench warrant, you may be brought before the judge immediately.
If you are arrested and you did not do the crime, you may be released after the police determine you are innocent. The police may detain and question you before making this determination. Charges would not be filed, and this would not show up as an arrest on your criminal record. An arrest would appear on your criminal record if you were detained and then brought into custody and booked into the jail. Most employers are not permitted to hold an arrest that did not end in a conviction against you. So, while the arrest would appear on your record, you do not have to disclose it on job applications.
Consult with an experienced California criminal defense attorney if you have been arrested. The prosecutor has 48 hours to file charges against you. If charges aren't filed within this timeframe, you could be released. An attorney can advise you on when charges should be filed. He or she can also advise you on what you need to do to be released as soon as possible.
Representing yourself in court, while permitted, is generally not a good decision. The California criminal justice system is complicated. Without knowing the system thoroughly and understanding California law, you could risk being convicted and receiving the maximum sentence. Without knowing about all your options, you may end up in jail for longer than you need to be. Every day counts when you have family, work, and other responsibilities to take care of. A skilled attorney can do two things for you. He or she can help you navigate the criminal justice system. Unless you've been through it before, you may not know what happens after each step. An attorney can also help you fight your charges. An attorney may even be able to save you from being sentenced to jail time if you are convicted. Contact an attorney right away if you've been arrested to get guidance on how to be released from jail, how to face your charges, and what your next step should be.
Have you been arrested in the Tulare, Kings or Fresno County area? Visalia criminal defense attorney Christopher Martens can best advise you on how to proceed with your case and face your charges. With over ten years of experience as a criminal defense attorney, Christopher Martens can help you navigate the DUI process. At The Law Offices of Christopher Martens, every client gets the respect they deserve. Contact our Visalia or Hanford offices at 559-967-7386 or email us at [email protected] to discuss strategic options for your fighting your charges.