Procedures in a Criminal Case

After a criminal arrest, you might feel nervous, frustrated, or angry, so you might want to immediately contact a seasoned Grand Rapids criminal attorney. The length of time from your arrest until your first time in court, also called the initial appearance, can seem unending, especially when you are in custody. In addition to the inconvenience, your job might be in jeopardy and your reputation at stake.


When you are first arrested, you might be released or taken into custody. The next step will include filing a criminal complaint against you, sometimes called a charging document. Next, you will go before a representative for the court, which might be a judge, justice of the peace, magistrate, or other judiciary figure.


If you are not taken into custody immediately, you might not have any warning about an arrest at a later time. If you are unprepared, you have probably not yet retained the services of a criminal defense lawyer. However, some people know that law enforcement officers are investigating them and have prepared by obtaining legal representation. While the exact process varies between jurisdictions, you will probably be taken to the local police station, where you will be processed through a holding center and then booked.


When you are booked, you will be identified, fingerprinted, and photographed. An intake officer will usually ask you various questions to further determine your identity, your risk of flight, and a prior criminal history. In addition, he or she will question you about your contact information, general background, associates, job history, nationality, overall health, and immigration status. The intake will also help determine your community ties in order to see if you should be released on your own recognizance, especially if you do not have a prior criminal record. You might be able to avoid spending time in jail if this is the case.


If you have been arrested but not yet taken into custody, you might want to protect yourself by contacting the law firm of Miel & Carr PLC. You can reach our Grand Rapids criminal attorney at (616) 773-2945.

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