My friend’s been arrested—now what?
Once someone is charged, they are taken to the police station to be processed, or “booked.” When this is completed, a bail amount may be set (especially if the charge is minor) and the accused has the option of paying and being released. If they cannot pay—or if bail is not set at this stage in the process, this timeline can become more complex.
If bail is not offered or paid, the accused must stay in custody, usually in a holding cell at the station, and wait for an arraignment (usually withing 48 hours or so). During an arraignment, the accused will stand before a judge, enter a plea, and the judge will set a bail. In some cases, when an arraignment is delayed, a bail hearing will be scheduled instead.
Bail is an amount of money that is paid as kind of security with the court. It is supposed to help guarantee that the accused will appear in court at a future date if they are released from custody. Several different factors are considered when bail is set.
The bail amount is decided by:
- A predetermined schedule used for minor offenses
- The accused’s financial situation
- The seriousness of the crime
- The accused’s criminal history
Bail can be paid by a third party (like a friend or loved one), but those who do should also know that there is a risk of not getting that money back if the accused does not make their court date. Failure to appear will result in a forfeiture of those funds.
If you are facing financial restrictions, there are also bail bond services. These services charge you a small, non-refundable percentage of the bail and, in exchange, will pay the full bail. However, again, if the accused does not make their court date, the bail bond service will hold you responsible for the bail that was not refunded to them the day of the court hearing.
Do I need to call an attorney to post bail?
The short answer is no, you do not. However, for many cases, even for misdemeanors, it can be highly advantageous to contact legal representation immediately. Having proven, vigilant counsel can not only help clarify the process for you and your friends and loved ones, but can also argue for lower bail, reduced charges, or a dismissal during your arraignment.
If you or a loved one has been charged and taken into custody during the Summer Camp Music Festival, then my firm, Miller Law Offices, P.C. can help. I have helped countless clients navigate the bail and arraignment process and time and time again have helped loved ones understand their options and secure the best possible outcome for the accused.
You do not have to keep wondering what will happen next. Contact my firm to speak with an experienced and compassionate Peoria criminal defense lawyer today.
If you find yourself attending a music festival with friends and loved ones, it is not unheard of for someone in your party to be charged with crime and taken into custody by police. This leaves friends and loved ones like you—who are often not from the area—in charge of getting your friend out of jail. With the Summer Camp Music Festival happening this weekend, my firm is happy to lend some insight into this process so that festival-goers can be ready in case the unexpected happens and they, too, find themselves in this situation.