The Series of Events That Happen After an Arrest

If you have ever been arrested, you probably know what to expect. For those who haven’t been arrested or who know someone who’s been arrested, below are the steps that people go through after their arrest.

Miranda Rights are Read

When you’re arrested, many times the Miranda Rights are going to be read to you. Sometimes they aren’t read. The police only have to read them if they’re going to question you. You should remember that anything that you say can still be used in court against you. If you present information voluntarily, the officer can use what you’ve said without reading the rights.
When you’re being arrested and you decide you want to get an attorney, they have to stop interrogating you and you’ll be able to talk to one.

Initial Processing

When you’re arrested, you’re going to be handcuffed. Unless there are any unusual circumstances, you’re first going to go to that precinct where your arrest happened to be processed. You’ll be interviewed by an officer who will ask for your information, like your SSN, birth date, name, etc.. After your fingerprints have been taken, you’re going to head to Central Booking, where you’re going to be processed for your arraignment. This is when you go before the judge.
If you’ve never been in a jail, processing probably will come as a huge shock. It can be quite overwhelming and you’re going to be thinking about your future. Try remaining calm and keep in mind that you have rights to a trial. Nothing has been determined at this point.


Based on what you’re being charged with, if you’re willing to talk, and whether the officers are interested in talking to you quickly, it’s possible that you’re going to be immediately taken to be questioned. This doesn’t mean you have to answer, and you can have a lawyer present, but it’s possible you’re going to feel pressure from the officers to answer. In just about every case, it’s a good idea to wait to answer questions until you’re represented.

Ability to Post Bail

Most of the people who are arrested can post bail, with the exception of serious crimes or rare instances. When you’re in jail, this is the thing that you’re thinking about the most.
Bail is able to be posted on the arrestee’s behalf. This is usually done through a bond or money. This is going to serve as surety that you’ll appear in court.

Initial Hearing

It doesn’t matter if you have posted bail – you should have a quick initial hearing. This usually will happen in several hours or two to three days. This is when your charges will be stated and what penalties come with those charges. This is also when you’re going to plead not guilty or guilty.

Plea Bargaining

Most criminal cases are resolved out of court because both parties (the defense and the prosecution) have made an agreement. This is called plea bargaining.
This is common because all sides benefit. You, as the defendant, will be able to avoid a long defense and possibly a much harsher punishment. On the prosecution side, they save the money and time that having a trial requires. Courts can also cut down how many cases they’re hearing.
The defense or the prosecution can start negotiating over a possible plea bargain. However, both sides must agree before it happens. A plea bargain will usually involve a defendant’s guilty plea to one charge or to lesser charges. The plea also might be guilty as charged, and the prosecution may recommend sentencing leniency.


If the charges brought against you stick and there isn’t an offered or reached plea bargain, you’re going to trial. You probably know this, but the prosecution will have to prove that you’re guilty beyond the reasonable doubt so that you’re shown to be guilty. You’re also going to be confronted by any of the witnesses that are brought against you. You also will be offered to testify.

These are the things that will happen after an arrest. Just make sure that you stay calm and don’t make any rash decisions.