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Steps to Take After an Arrest

Steps to Take After an Arrest

If you are arrested for DUI or any criminal offense, you will be taken to jail, processed, and placed in a cell. If you have not bonded out, within 24 hours you will appear in front of a judge for what is referred to as a first appearance. At your first appearance the judge will review the probable cause affidavit written by law enforcement, and determine two things. First the judge will determine whether or not probable cause exists to hold you in continued confinement. Second, the judge will determine whether the bond amount currently in effect is sufficient and appropriate based on the facts of your case and the crime charged. While there are strategic reasons to remain in confinement, generally a Defendant’s first move after an arrest will be to pay a bail amount and be released. Please be aware that you do not always need to wait until first appearance to post bond/bail. Upon arrest for most charges, a bond amount is determined. This amount can be posted without attending first appearance in most cases. If it appears you will remain in jail through first appearance, an attorney may appear with you and on your behalf to argue for a lower bond and to make any relevant probable cause arguments. These are the only items that can be discussed at first appearance. The judge will not get into the facts of the case, nor will the judge dismiss your case at this time. It is important to retain counsel early in the case so that no statements are made on the record, bond can be addressed, witnesses can begin to be located, and the case can be prepared. It is also important to refrain from making any statements to law enforcement or on the record to the judge. Statements made about the case will not generally help, but will only give the State more evidence against the accused.