THE PROCESS OF ARREST, BOOKING AND ARRAIGNMENTAs a criminal Los Angeles defense attorney, I have seen all stages of a criminal case. Sometimes criminal defense clients will call me and retain my services on the eve of trial, others will call while their criminal case is in the early stages but most will call frantically when their loved ones are arrested and charged with a crime.
The first few days of a criminal case are very stressful, not just for the person who was arrested, but also for his or her family. Their life has been turned upside down and often times they have more questions than answers.
In this blog I will discuss what normally happens when a person is arrested and charged with a crime in Los Angeles. Understand that there are many ways that the police and the courts can handle each individual situation and things may not always go as usual. The one thing that is always constant in any arrest is that the sooner the person is represented by an experienced criminal attorney, the better off they will be.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A PERSON IS ARRESTEDMost people who are arrested for a crime are arrested in one of two ways. The first is the police come to your door and arrest you based on an arrest warrant that was issued by the criminal court. The second is when they commit a crime and are then arrested at the scene of the crime or subsequently at another location.
In both scenarios of arrest the police will proceed a certain way depending on whether the person who is to be charged with a crime is arrested for a misdemeanor or a felony crime.
For most misdemeanors, the police will arrest or detain a person and then make a decision as to whether or not to hold that person in custody or release them with a criminal citation to appear in court. In some cases they may be issued a criminal citation, which looks a lot like a traffic ticket, at the scene and released without even seeing the inside of a police station.
In either of the above scenarios, the person will have to be booked. This is either done when they are arrested or later if the police cite them and release them without taking them to the station.
f they require a person to post bail, it will generally be on the lower end of the bail scale. That person can then either post bail and go free or wait until they make an appearance in criminal court to have his or her reviewed by a judge.
Most people that are unable to secure a release after arrest are held in the local jail or police station prior to being brought in front of a criminal judge. If they are not released by the judge after that, they are then transferred to the county jail.
FELONY ARRESTThere are many felony crimes that a person may be charged with anything ranging from grand theft to murder and everything in between. Felony crimes generally involve more serious conduct than misdemeanors and also have more serious consequences.
They are then help either in a local jail or a police station before they are taken to the criminal court to see a judge. By law the police have to present that person to a judge within 48 hours of booking. This, however, does not always happen, especially when the person is arrested either in a Friday or during the weekend.
WHAT HAPPENS AT AN ARRAIGNMENT AND BAIL REVIEWAfter a person is arrested, the next part of the process involves being brought before the criminal court. At that hearing they will usually have the charges against them presented to either them or their criminal defense attorney and the issue of bail may also be discussed.
At that time if a person cannot bail themselves out because the bail is too high and they cannot afford it, their criminal defense attorney can request a bail hearing before the criminal judge.
While this is generally done at the arraignment, it may not be in that person’s best interests to have the bail review hearing that day. Because you are going to be asking that the judge deviate from the felony bail schedule, there must be a good reason for the request.
Since it is still the early onset of the case, the criminal defense attorney may not have enough evidence to show the judge when making this request.
Also it may be beneficial to wait until the department of probation prepares a report regarding bail, knows as an Own Recognizance Report, before asking for bail.
Your best opportunity to get a bail reduced or be released on your own recognizance is the first time you ask, so the key is to ask smart.
HIRING A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY EARLY WILL INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF SUCCESS The maze of the criminal justice system can be a difficult one to navigate. One thing remains true, the police, prosecutors, judges and court personnel are not on your side. In a criminal case you have one friend and that is your criminal defense attorney. That is why it is crucial to contact an experienced criminal attorney who will fight for you from the onset.
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