Hamilton County Criminal Defense Attorney: What happens once I have been arrested?

“What happens after I have been arrested?” is a common question from most clients who have been arrested. The answer to this question depends upon whether the client received what is called a summons arrest or was taken into custody by law enforcement. Typically a summons arrest is issued after an individual has an encounter with law enforcement and the law enforcement officer completed a report and provided it to the prosecutor’s office. The prosecutor then makes a decision whether or not to file charges. If the prosecutor decides that filing charges is appropriate, the prosecutor may elect to issue a warrant for your arrest or instead, may elect to issue a summons in lieu of an arrest warrant. The summons will contain a date and time where you will be ordered to appear in court. This court date will be referred to as an initial hearing. What occurs at an initial hearing will be discussed in greater detail below. A prosecutor is much more likely to issue a summons arrest on a misdemeanor case than on a felony case.

If you have been taken into custody by a law enforcement officer you will be transported to jail where you will go through the book-in process. During this process your personal property is confiscated and stored until your release. You will be finger printed and have your contact information taken by an officer at the jail. If you have been transported to jail, you are likely to remain there until you are taken before a judge for your initial hearing. Indiana law requires that individuals taken into custody be brought before a judicial officer “promptly”. Typically, individuals taken into custody are brought before a judge or magistrate within forty-eight hours of the arrest. Several things take place at your initial hearing. First, you will be advised of your rights in a criminal case. Second, you will be advised of the crime with which you are charged and the minimum and maximum penalties associated with each of those charges. Third, you will either have a bond set that must be posted before you can be released, or the court will release you on your promise to appear for future court dates. This is often referred to as being released on your own recognizance or being “OR’d”. Finally, the court will give you dates such as an omnibus date, a pretrial conference date, and a trial date. These are dates where you will be required to appear unless and until you speak with a lawyer.

Being arrested either by summons or taken into custody can be a scary proposition for anyone, especially if you have never been through the process before. No one expects that they will ever find themselves or a loved one in a situation where they will require legal assistance to handle a criminal matter. In the unfortunate even that you happen to find yourself or a loved one in such circumstances, contact the lawyers at Cate Terry & Gookins LLC. We are familiar with the book-in processes in counties throughout central Indiana and specifically in Madison, Marion, Hancock, Boone, Tipton and Hamilton Counties. If you need a criminal defense lawyer for you or a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us 24/7.