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What to Do If You’re Arrested for the First Time?

Posted On: March 31st, 2022   |   Posted by: Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
man with handcuffs on being put into back of police car

You’ve been arrested—what happens now? Knowing what to expect after an arrest can help you protect your rights, take the proper steps, and avoid making careless mistakes. Whether you’ve been arrested for assault, burglary, or another crime, learn more about the criminal process in Ohio and what comes next for you.

What Happens During an Arrest

You can be arrested with or without a warrant. If the police have a warrant, they believe you have committed a crime and will look for you to conduct an arrest. Warrantless arrests are more common, as they occur when the police believe you have committed, are committing, or are about to commit a crime.

During the arrest, you’ll be read your Miranda rights. Pay attention to them, because they’re a huge part of protecting yourself as you go through the system. Exercise your right to remain silent, since anything you tell the police can only hurt you.

The Intake Process

After you get arrested, you will be taken to the police station or detention center. This is where you’ll be booked in, a process that involves collecting your fingerprints, checking your name to look for other warrants, and listing you in the system as a first-time offender.

Depending on the severity of your charges, several things can happen next.

Release and Bail

You may be released from the detention center without any further issues. If police realize they’ve made a mistake and picked up the wrong person or that they don’t have enough reason to believe you have committed a crime, you may leave without any charges being filed against you. You may also be released on bail, bond, or on your own recognizance:

  • Bail: Money you pay to be released from jail. The amount you must pay is set by a judge and is dependent on your criminal history and your charges.
  • Bond: Money paid on behalf of the accused so that they can be released from jail. The person requesting the money typically pays 10% of the requested total. If the accused does not return for trial, the court keeps the initial deposit, and a warrant is issued for arrest.
  • Recognizance: When you are released on your own recognizance, the court trusts you to return for trial without having to pay money upfront.

If you’re being accused of a felony, a more serious charge, you may have higher bail or be refused bail entirely. If you’re being accused of a misdemeanor, a more minor charge, you may have a lower bail amount set or be released on your own recognizance.

Your Next Steps and Paperwork

It’s important to keep track of the paperwork you accumulate along the way. You’ll receive documentation of your charges, your court date, and information on your bail amount. Your attorney will need this.

Assuming you are released on your own recognizance or with the help of bond or bail, your next step is to hire an attorney. You may be worried about the cost of a criminal defense attorney or still hope that your charges will go away on their own. However, when you go to court, you do not want to be defending yourself against an experienced prosecutor.

Arraignment, Pleas, and Preparing for Trial

When you are arraigned, you will enter one of three plea options:

  • Not guilty: You deny the facts of the case and wish to fight the allegations.
  • Guilty: You admit that the facts of the case are true and waive your right to a trial.
  • No contest: You admit the facts of the case are true but don’t admit guilt.

Your attorney will guide you in this decision and help you understand the implications of each choice. At this point, the court will either set bail, reset bail, or release you on your own recognizance.

Your attorney will prepare you for each step of the process. Many criminal cases never go to court and are instead settled with a plea agreement. If this does not work out for your case, you are promised the right to a speedy trial. Your attorney will help you with trial preparation and outline what to expect each day of your trial.

Reach Out to LHA & Discuss Your Options

Having a strong criminal defense attorney is an important part of fighting your charges, especially if this is your first arrest. If you get arrested, having the right legal team by your side can help you feel more confident about your future. At Luftman, Heck & Associates we fight aggressively for your rights and future.

Set up a time to talk more about your case now by calling (614) 500-3836 or filling out our online contact form.



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