What Happens During and After an Arrest

What Happens During and After an Arrest

Being Arrested

Every arrest must be done according to specific protocol. When somebody is arrested, the police must pursue certain lawful methods during and after the arrest process so as to follow your lawful rights. An official arrest happens when police arrest you are not allowed to leave the arresting official. The officer is responsible for reading you your Miranda rights, which were established as a result of the Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona. Miranda rights do not apply in traffic stops, only when being arrested.

Searching your Belongings

Police have the authority to frisk you before arresting you to find out if you have a weapon on your person. They will then arrest you by putting you in handcuffs and into the back of your vehicle. During this process they have the right to search your vehicle and immediate vicinity for any weapons, stolen goods, or evidence of a crime. They may also take your car or any other personal property. They will record this inventory and ask you to sign their document if the contents match what you had.

Being Booked

Police will take you to the police station to be booked. They need to fill out basic information about yourself, fingerprint, and take a photo of you. Depending on the crime, you may then be asked to stand in a line up, provide handwriting sample, take a DNA test, etc. Next you will be detained. The officer will take you to a holding cell until the paperwork has been filed with the judge. If you are not detained your attorney can get a writ of habeas corpus from a judge that makes the police prove to the court you are being lawfully held.


Now you have been fully booked and detained. The police officer files the necessary information and your case is sent to a prosecutor’s office to file the specific charge. Charges can change as new evidence is acquired but an initial charge has to be recorded. The charge has to be recorded within 72 hours.


Charges have been brought against you in court by the prosecuting attorney are read to you in court. You will have to answer whether you plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere. In criminal case, nolo contendere can be seen as an implied confession to the charge mentioned in court. Unless persuaded otherwise, a judge will not accept that plea unless he believes you are making that plea voluntarily and have been educated on what that means.


Once in jail you may be able to get out after being arrested but before trial by posting bail. Posting bail means you pay the court to get out of jail but also to ensure good faith you will show up to court. If you show up to court the bail money is returned to you.

Jimmy Duncan
James Hobson is a digital marketing professional with 25 years of experience in web development, search engine optimization, local search and online advertising. James has over 40 years of sales and marketing experience ranging from entrepreneur to senior management for start-ups, SMB, and Fortune 100 companies. James has specific business expertise with advertising agency, law firm, service trade, manufacturing, construction and industrial sectors. He has been a sales and marketing speaker for events, and is a frequent contributing author for law and business blogs under the nom de plume Jimmy Duncan.