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  • Attorney James Noll

Know how to handle an arrest.

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

We know your mind races, your heart beats fast, and you don't know what your future is going to hold.

Getting arrested can be a frightening experience. If you ever find yourself being taken into police custody and booked into a jail, the first thing you likely think about is getting free as soon as possible. When taken from the police car to the jail the arresting officer or jail officer will process or “book” you. Booking is the process whereby authorities collect information needed to finish the arrest report and secure you jail.


The Booking process entails:

Collecting and recording information about the crime Where it took placeArresting OfficerTime/date of arrest


II. Recording your personal information

NameAddressPhysical characteristics (Race, hair color, eye color, ect.)Photograph, fingerprints, DNA


III. Collect any property you may have on your person, such as cell-phone, keys, wallet/purse. All of which should be returned once you have been released if it is not retained as evidence.


IV. Check background for any past criminal history


Just to make sure you are not a felon, on probation, or anything else that would call for special attention in your processing.


After this process, depending on the type of offense you were arrested for, generally the next step is setting bail and arranging for your release. If you are arrested for a minor offense you may be release on your own recognizance. This means that you will sign your citation giving written notice that you will appear for your next court date to adjudicate the charge. If you are released according to these terms and you miss that court date, a bench warrant for your arrest may be issued.


If it is a more serious charge such as a felony, then a written promise to appear in court will not be enough to ensure your appearance. The courts will require some financial obligation to be fulfilled for you to be released. This financial obligation is called bail. Bail is a security such as cash, a bond, or property required by the Court for the release of a criminal defendant who must appear in court at a future time. Black’s Law Dictionary, (10th ed. 2014). Once this obligation is fulfilled then the court will issue you a legal document or make a court order that you can be released. Again, if you are released and you fail to make your court date without properly notifying the court ahead of time with an acceptable reason as to why you are absent, then the court will issue a bench warrant for your arrest.


A Bond is essentially the same as bail. It is a written promise to pay money or do some act subject to some condition. This comes into play if you are unable to make money on your bail. A bail bondsman is any person, agency, or corporation who will take any form of money, property, or asset acting as a surety to the bond. This person will deliver the bond to the court to guarantee the defendant’s attendance, will also pick this person up from confinement if the defendant is arrested. This type of bond essentially transfers the custody of the defendant from the officers of the crime to the surety of the bond. Black’s Law Dictionary, “Bail Bond” (10th ed. 2014) Obtaining a bail bond can be more viable if you do not have a lot of money or property available to post regular bail, a bond agent will work with) you in meeting the financial obligation for bail. Bail Bondsman have been outlawed in Kentucky since the 1970’s, but are commonly employed in other states. In Kentucky Pre-Trial Services have replaced private bail bondsman and help Judges review bail and bonds.

When arrested and facing a Court date, you should consult with an practicing attorney familiar with the Court system where you have been charged.


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