What to Expect if You Are Arrested

criminal lawyer, annapolis arrest Law firms in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County often field calls from people who have been arrested and are unsure of their rights. If you or a loved one has been arrested, it is important to contact a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. A criminal lawyer will ensure that your rights are not violated and will make note of any instances of police aggression or an improper arrest. Continue reading to learn more about what will happen immediately after an arrest.

Initial Booking

After you are arrested, you have the right to call a criminal defense attorney and call a friend or family member to arrange for bail. You are then booked into jail, where you must provide the police with basic information about yourself, including your address and birthdate. At this point you are fingerprinted and photographed. The police will also take any personal property or money you have on you, which you will be able to collect after you post bail.

Filing Charges

After you are booked, a police officer will deliver the facts about your arrest to a prosecutor. The prosecutor will decide whether or not to press criminal charges, which usually must be filed within 72 hours of an arrest. A prosecutor is not bound by the initial charging decision and can change the charge or add on additional charges once more evidence becomes available. It is essential to speak to a criminal attorney at this point so your lawyer can help you decide how to plead.

Posting Bail

Whether you plead not guilty or guilty, after getting advice from your criminal lawyer, the next step is to post bail. Bail may be denied in the case of very serious criminal charges, but a good criminal defense attorney can generally negotiate the lowest bail possible. Bail secures your release from jail until your trial date. A judge will set a dollar amount or release you on your own recognizance, which means that you do not have to pay but are obligated by law to appear at your next hearing. Once you are released pending your next court date your attorney will begin the process of preparing your case with you.