What Happens In The First 24 Hours After A Criminal Arrest?
Assuming one has been arrested for a felony, a penal law misdemeanor (or a misdemeanor defined outside the penal law which would constitute a felony if such person had a previous judgment of conviction for a crime) or loitering for the purpose of engaging in a prostitution offense, or if the police cannot ascertain your identity, you will be fingerprinted. (CPL § 160.10). The statute also allows the police to photograph one whom they can fingerprint. As a practical matter, they always photograph when they fingerprint.
The police will draft an accusatory instrument. (CPL § 110.10).
In some cases, the officer might issue an appearance ticket requiring the accused to attend court on a future date. The police can issue a desk appearance ticket that can even require bail, though for limited amounts.
- If the arrest was for a class E felony, any amount not exceeding seven hundred fifty dollars.
- If the arrest was for a class A misdemeanor, any amount not exceeding five hundred dollars.
- If the arrest was for a class B misdemeanor or an unclassified misdemeanor, any amount not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars.
- If the arrest was for a petty offense, any amount not exceeding one hundred dollars. (CPL § 150.30).
Alternatively, one can anticipate an arraignment before a judge, though this is not always done within 24 hours. At the arraignment, the judge will advise the accused of certain rights:
One will learn that he has the right to the aid of counsel at the arraignment and at every subsequent stage of the action. If he appears upon such arraignment without counsel, he has the following rights:
[a] To an adjournment for the purpose of obtaining counsel; and
[b] To communicate, free of charge, by letter or by telephone provided by the law enforcement facility where the defendant is held to a phone number located in the United States
With certain exceptions one can also apply for bail. When the defendant is charged with a felony in a local criminal court, a superior court judge may not order recognizance or bail unless and until the district attorney has had an opportunity to be heard. (CPL § 530.30-1). A city court, a town court or a village court may not order recognizance or bail when (i) the defendant is charged with a class A felony, or (ii) it appears that the defendant has two previous felony convictions. (CPL § 530.20-2-a).
What Rights Do I Have After I Have Been Arrested?
The first and most important is the right to counsel (unless the arrest is for a violation that cannot result in a jail sentence). The next right one normally receives is the right to reasonable bail. (CPL § 510.20). Of course, what the judges consider reasonable may be more than one can afford. One also can expect to be advised of the charges. (CPL § 170.10-2). One will also be afforded the right to communicate by phone or letter free of charge. (CPL § 170.10-3-b).
Will I Be Arraigned Before I am Released From Jail?
One is normally arraigned before going to jail. Though one may be held in a police lockup while awaiting the judge for the arraignment.
At What Point Can I Contact An Attorney After An Arrest?
One should contact counsel before the arrest if that is possible. Counsel can provide substantial assistance before the police arrest and question a defendant. For example, by asserting one’s right to counsel and one’s right to remain silent, counsel can prevent the police from interrogating the accused, which often times eliminates a very damaging confession. Additionally, counsel can arrange for one’s surrender to the police or court, which often justifies a much lower bail.
Can I Contact An Attorney Before Taking A Breath Or Blood Test In A DWI Arrest?
Yes. And that is often wise.
What Paperwork Do I Leave The Jail With After I Have Bailed Out?
One should leave the jail with the charges, any depositions supplied and some notification of the next court date. Notice of the next court date is very important. We can always get another copy of the charges and depositions. But if we miss the court date, the judge is likely to revoke bail and send the accused back to jail.
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