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The Aftermath Of A Criminal Arrest In California

The following article will cover:

  • The initial procedures you can expect within the first 24 to 72 hours after someone's arrest.

When Someone Is First Arrested And Charged With A Crime, What Happens Within The First 24 To 72 Hours?

Upon an individual's arrest, the ensuing procedures can vary based on the severity of the charges. Understanding these initial procedures can better equip you to navigate the complex landscape of the criminal justice system. Here's a breakdown of what you might expect:

Misdemeanor Arrests:

  • Typically in LA, if arrested for a misdemeanor, you are often released on your own recognizance after 24 hours.
  • "Own recognizance" can be thought of as a $0 bail. Essentially, while you await your court date, you're released without posting any bail amount. It's important to note, however, that you must avoid further legal infractions to maintain this status during legal proceedings.


Felony Arrests:

  • For felony charges, there's a predetermined "Felony Bail Schedule". The bail amount is contingent on the type and number of felonies charged. For example, Two separate felonies, one with a $100,000 bail and the other with a $50,000 bail, would result in a total bail of $150,000.
  • If you can afford it, you or someone on your behalf can post the bail amount, ensuring your release until your arraignment. This bail amount acts as a guarantee of your appearance in court.
  • If you are found not guilty after trial, the bail amount is returned. If you are convicted, the bail amount is refunded after any required jail time – as long as you adhere to the legal proceedings.
  • An alternative to paying bail out-of-pocket is working with a bail bondsman. Typically, a bondsman will charge you around 10% of the total bail. This amount is non-refundable. The bondsman will then cover the remaining 90% and that 90% will be returned to them after your case is resolved.
  • In criminal cases, the role of the bail is to ensure the accused is present throughout the court proceedings.

Post-Arrest Proceedings:

  • Within two days post-arrest, you are typically brought before a judge where you can enter a plea: “guilty” or “not guilty”. Most individuals opt to plead “not guilty” – and it is highly inadvisable to plead “guilty” to criminal charges without first speaking to an attorney.
  • If you are still in custody following the plea, a bail review hearing occurs. Here, the judge determines if the set bail amount is appropriate. At this hearing, arguments for lowering or increasing the bail can be presented. For example, bail might be recalculated if it was initially set based on a single charge, but multiple charges were found to be applicable later on.
  • The judge either confirms the bail amount immediately post-plea or schedules a date to finalize it in the near future. This determination ensures that the bail amount aligns with the nature and number of the charges.

For more information on The Aftermath Of A Criminal Arrest In California, an initial consultation is your next best step.

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