What Happens After an Arrest?


If you have been arrested before, then you probably know what to expect. However, if you have never been in that situation, then you might be wondering what happens when you do get arrested. Below are the steps that you will go through after your arrest.

Miranda Rights are Read

Most of the time after your arrest, the Miranda Rights are going to be read to you. There are times when they are not read. Law enforcement only have to read them to you if they are going to ask you questions. You need to remember that anything you say can still be used against you in court. If you divulge information voluntarily, the police office has the right to use what you said without reading the Miranda Rights. If you decide that you want to obtain an attorney, then law enforcement does have to stop interrogating you and you will get the opportunity to talk to an attorney.

Initial Processing

If you are arrested, you will be handcuffed. Unless there are unusual circumstances, you will first go to the precinct where your arrest happened to be processed. You will be interviewed by law enforcement who will ask for your information, such as your Social Security Number, birth date, name, etc. Once your fingerprints have been taken, you will go to Central Booking where you will be processed for your arraignment, which is when you will go before a judge. If you have never been in a jail, processing will probably be very overwhelming, and you will begin to think about your future. Try to stay calm and remember that you have the right to a trial. Nothing has been decided at this point.


Depending on what you are being charged with, if you are willing to talk, and whether law enforcement wants to talk to you as soon as possible, then you could immediately be taken to questioning. This does not mean you have to answer, and you have the right to have a lawyer present. It is possible, however, that you will feel the pressure from officers to answer their questions. In most cases, it is a good idea to wait to answer any questions until you are represented.

Ability to Post Bail

Most people who are arrested can post bail, except for those who are arrested for serious crimes or unusual instances. While you are sitting in jail, this is the main thing that will be on your mind. Bail is posted on the arrestee’s behalf and is normally done through a bond or money. Bail is used as surety that you will show up in court.

Initial Hearing

Whether or not you have posted bail, you should have a fast initial hearing, which usually happens within several hours or two to three days after being arrested. During your initial hearing, your charges will be stated and the penalties that come with it. This is also the time when you will plead guilty or not guilty.

Plea Bargaining

Many criminal cases are taken care of out of court because both parties, the defense and the prosecution, have come to an agreement. This is called plea bargaining and is common because both sides benefits. As the defendant, you can avoid a long defense and perhaps a harsher punishment. For the prosecution, they can save money and time that a trial would require. It also gives courts the chance to cut down on how many cases they are hearing.

The defense or the prosecution can begin to negotiate over a probable plea bargain; however, both sides must agree for it to happen. A plea bargain usually includes a defendant’s guilty plea to one charge or to lesser charges. The plea could be guilty as charged, and the prosecution might advocate for sentencing leniency.


If the charges that are brought against you stay and there is not an offered or reached plea bargain, then you will be going to trial. The prosecution will have to prove that you are guilty beyond reasonable doubt so that you are viewed as guilty. You will also be confronted by any witnesses that are brought against you, as well as being offered to testify.

As you can see, there are many steps that you will have to endure after being arrested. It can bring on anxiety and fear, but you need to remember to stay calm and do not make any rash decisions. If you or a loved one has questions and need a better understanding of the process, including how to get a bail bond, contact Mercy Bail Bonds at (727) 856-7775. We always answer and want to help this process be as smooth as possible.