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What Happens After Being Arrested in Houston?

Criminal Law Blog by The Law Office of Greg Tsioros

What Happens After Being Arrested in Houston?

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Arrests in Houston, Texas

At some time or another, residents in the Houston area may find themselves placed under arrest. Obviously, this can be a very unsettling and uncomfortable experience. This is especially true for people who have never dealt with law enforcement before. People who are in this situation may be frightened and unsure of what to do. In most arrests, the law enforcement officers will take people through a well-defined process. This process remains somewhat similar in nearly all cases, despite the type of charge for which the person was arrested.

Understanding a little bit of information about this process can help people get through this process while making the best decision available to them at the time.

The Arrest Process

When a person is suspected of committing a crime, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, the police may take that person into custody. In many cases, this means that the person will be placed in handcuffs, placed into a police squad car and transported to a local jail.

When an arrest takes place, a few things will happen:

  • A police officer will inform the person that they are under arrest
  • The police officer will place handcuffs on the person
  • The officer may inform the person of their civil rights
  • The officer will inform the person of the crime for which they are being charged
  • The person will be taken to a local jail and booked

These circumstances may differ slightly based on the nature of the charge and the location where the arrest takes place. However, a person who is arrested can be confident that they will know why they are being placed under arrest and where they are going.

The Booking Process

After an arrested person is taken to jail, they will be put through the booking process. This process has a lot of steps and may take several hours. These steps typically include:

  • An interview with a jail officer who will record the person’s name, address and other identifying information
  • A photograph of the person will be taken for the jail’s records
  • A jail officer will make a copy of the person’s fingerprints
  • The person’s personal items, including their wallet, car keys and cellphone, will be confiscated, cataloged and stored at the jail

The purpose of the booking process is to make sure that the jail will have an accurate record of the arrest incident and the information of the arrested individual. This information is then used by the court system to press charges, allow the defendant to enter a plea or conduct a trial.

The Court Process

After a person is charged with a crime, arrested and booked into jail, the person may be given a court date. Before the date is set, the person may post bail and be released from jail or they may be released on their own recognizance. If they cannot afford bail, they may be transferred out of a holding cell and sent to the actual jail to await their court date.

A person’s initial court appearance usually takes the form of an arraignment. At an arraignment the person will be allowed to plead guilty, no contest or not guilty after the charges are explained to them.

After the plea is entered, may be released after posting bail or on their own recognizance or they may be returned to the jail. At this point, the person will become a defendant in an active criminal case and they will be assigned a court date. At this court date, they accept a plea deal from the court or ask for a trial.

During the time between the arraignment and the court date, the person will have an opportunity to consult an attorney. The attorney can explain the court process in detail and can help the defendant understand the nature of the charges.

At the court date or the trial, the defendant and his or her attorney can enter a final plea and accept the deal from the court or they can undergo a bench or jury trial.

The best way to find out more information about the arrest process in Houston is to consult with an experienced attorney. The attorney may be able to help the defendant secure a good plea deal from the prosecution.

If you need support after being arrested, contact the The Law Office of Greg Tsiros for experienced criminal defense.

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