What to Expect When You Get Arrested in Michigan
Often an arrest is a person’s first contact with the criminal justice system. It’s a life-changing event that’s filled with a great deal of uncertainty. Normally, you experience fear and anxiety from the time you’re handcuffed to the time you plead you’re case before a judge. Additionally, you need to learn about the process, including understanding the role of Michigan bail bonds, so you can navigate through the system.
The Miranda Rights
It’s important to know your constitutional rights. As soon as you’re arrested, a police officer must read you your Miranda Rights. As long as you’re in police custody and you’re being questioned, you have two primary rights. You have the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney.
Once you arrive at the local jail, you’re taken through a booking process. This involves placing your personal details and arrest information into a police database. The information collected from you includes:
The prosecuting attorney charges you with either a misdemeanor or felony based on the arrest report he or she receives from a police officer. Misdemeanors are small crimes with light sentences. For example, you may spend up to 93 days in jail for your first drunk driving offense in Michigan. A felony is serious and carries severe penalties. If you’re guilty of a third DUI offense, you can spend up to five years in jail.
There’s no bail with a misdemeanor charge. Under this circumstance, you can be released from jail. With a felony, you must pay 10 percent of the bail before you’re released. The bail process is not always easy to navigate, so it’s a good idea to speak with a bail bondsman in Michigan. During your time in jail, you’re also given a date to appear in court.
When you appear in court after being released from jail, it’s called an arraignment. During this procedure, you can plead guilty or not guilty to the charges. It’s highly recommended that you consult with an attorney before making a non-guilty plea. Once you enter a guilty plea the case is closed and you’re given a sentence.
The Final Stages
A trial, verdict and/or sentencing take place after an arraignment. The prosecuting attorney and your defense attorney meet to discuss whether to go to trial or to make a plea bargain. Sometimes the charges are dropped or reduced. If you’re found guilty at trial, the court decides the punishment. Otherwise, you go free if the case is dismissed or you’re found not guilty.
The jailhouse experience is scary, embarrassing and humiliating, especially if it’s your first arrest. It’s understandable that anyone wants to get out as soon as possible. Often people who are incarcerated can’t afford to post bail. Without posting bail, individuals can linger in jail for months or years, waiting to appear in court. If you or someone know doesn’t have the money for bail, one role of a bail bonds company is to provide the funds. To learn more, contact American Bail Bonds for assistance.