What Happens After Arrest? Florida Laws
- What is Arrest? You are arrested after the police take you into their custody. In other words you are not free to leave. From the moment you are taken into custody, there are a number of things that will now happen.
- Booking: Once you are taken into custody after arrest, the police will bring you down to the police station for booking. This is the process of putting you into the jail. Your stuff is inventoried. Your prints are taken. Your picture is taken. Substitute jumper is given. You are searched for contraband. You are generally allowed a phone call. After this you are placed in a jail cell to wait.
- Waiting game: After booking, you will be waiting in a jail cell for usually quite some time (up to 24 hours). Sometimes alone, sometimes with others. During this period nothing substantive happens. You are essentially just waiting. If you hire a lawyer in this period they can come out and talk to you, explain what’s going on.
- Bond: If your case is bondable, then you can bond out and avoid having to show up for your first appearance.
- First Appearance: This is your first shot to walk into a court room after you are arrested. In Florida this can take up to 24 hours. The purpose of a first appearance is for your lawyer to get up and argue for your release, or a reduced bond.
- After First Appearance and Beyond: After First Appearance there are lengthy time limitations on how fast the state has to move forward. Without bond or a fast-acting attorney, you could be sitting for quite a while. Court dates will likely be scattered throughout the first 3 months (including Arraignment, Pretrial, and then finally trial). It’s important to hire your lawyer quickly in the process so that you minimize your waiting, and maximize the work being done on your behalf.