The first 72 hours after an arrest for criminal charges in California are usually a very busy period. During this period of time, you may need to stay in jail. You can also face legal questioning, your bail hearing, and your arraignment hearing.
Depending upon your situation, you could get released from jail in under 72 hours. However, this is not always the case.
Jail Time in the First 72 Hours After an Arrest
If you are arrested for a crime in California, you will most likely be taken to jail. You will be “processed” into the legal system, or fingerprinted. The police will enter your information into a computer system, and you will likely have to give up your personal belongings and be forced to change into different apparel.
During this period of time, you are legally allowed to contact a lawyer per the Constitution. The experts generally recommend that you reach out to a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible. A lawyer can help if you are facing charges for:
- Theft crimes
- Violent crimes
- Sex crimes
- Drug crimes
- Property crimes
- White-collar crimes
Getting help quickly can allow a lawyer to get to work on your defense. A lawyer can also walk you personally through the rest of the challenges you’ll face following an arrest.
Legal Questioning Immediately After Your Arrest
You should expect police officers and, possibly, the prosecution to question you after you are arrested in Los Angeles. These individuals are trying to gather enough evidence to file official charges against you after your arrest.
You should know that everything you say about your case can later be used against you. Politely decline to answer questions until you’ve contacted a lawyer.
Bail Hearings and Your Arrest in Los Angeles
In many cases, you can get out of jail after an arrest if you pay bail. Bail is a monetary payment made to the court system. Your bail will likely be set at a “bail hearing,” and a lawyer can work for you at your bail hearing to help you get a lower bail amount.
Many individuals in California work with a bail bondsman to pay for their bail. However, these individuals may charge extra fees in order to provide you with the funds you need to cover your bail. In some cases, a lawyer can take steps to get you released without bail.
Your Arraignment Hearing for Criminal Charges
In many cases, you will have an arraignment hearing within 72 hours of an arrest in Los Angeles. You only get an arraignment hearing if the prosecution has decided to bring charges against you. At your arraignment hearing you will:
- Learn the specific charges you’re facing
- Find out if your bail has been raised or lowered
- Enter a plea
You always have the opportunity to enter a plea at your arraignment hearing. You can choose to plead not guilty, no contest, or guilty. Pleading no contest or guilty will end your case immediately.
The court will decide how to penalize you for the charges you are facing and you may end up taken back to jail or sent to prison. In many cases, your lawyer will advise you to plead “not guilty.” It is very difficult to change a plea of guilty or no contest to “not guilty” later.
You should speak with a lawyer before your arraignment hearing, to get advice on how to handle your charges.
Release from Jail After an Arrest in California
Note that, generally, the prosecution will only have 48 hours to hold you in jail before they must file charges or release you. However, if you are arrested on the weekend, the prosecution has up to 72 hours to file charges. If the prosecution does not file charges, you will be released.
However, this does not mean you will never face charges. The prosecution has a significant amount of time to file charges against you, even after you are released from jail.
Ask a Lawyer What Happens After You’re Arrested
What happens in the first three days after you’ve been arrested on criminal charges in California? You can face a bail hearing and arraignment hearing. You may spend time in jail and face legal questioning.
Get help with all of these challenges from the Simmrin Law Group’s criminal defense lawyers. Just call