By: Tonya Page-Rynerson

When someone finds themselves in a position where they’re being handcuffed and placed into the back of a police car, the best thing to do is to be cooperative and remain calm.

At the time of the arrest, the person being arrested will have their “Miranda Rights” read to them. Miranda Rights are recited so people are aware they have the right to remain silent and the right to consult an attorney. Although it’s recommended that people provide information such as their full name, date of birth, address and other basics to police upon request, they should be aware they are not required to divulge anything beyond that. It’s natural that someone might want to tell their side of the story immediately in an attempt to clear their name, but there is a greater chance that this may cause more harm than good. One should always consult with a criminal defense attorney prior to making any sort of statement relating to charges filed against them.

The next step in the arrest process involves being taken to a police station to be booked. Booking entails being fingerprinted, having “mug shots” taken and having information about the defendant and the arrest entered into the jail’s computer system. Personal possessions, such as keys, purses, wallets, cell phones etc. will be taken for safe keeping. That personal property will be returned to the defendant upon his or her release from jail.

After the booking process is complete, the defendant is likely to be told their bail has been set at a certain dollar amount. This means that he or she has the opportunity to bail out of jail should they choose. Once this happens, the defendant (or his or her family) has two options. The first is to post the full amount of bail with the court in the form of cash or cashier’s check. That money would refunded to the person who posted it, less administrative fees, at the time the case is fully resolved. People should keep in mind that the return of this money will not be immediate and in some instances could drag out for months or even longer. Should the defendant fail to make court appearances or skip out on court-mandated obligations related to the case, that money will be forfeited.

A second, more commonly utilized option is to seek out the assistance of an expert bail bondsman. By choosing to work with a bail bondsman, only 10% of the full amount of the bail will need to be paid in order to get the defendant out of jail. That money is a fee paid to the bail bonds company in exchange for the services they provide and is non-refundable.

Once a person is released from custody, though, that’s not to say their case has been concluded. The defendant will still need to appear for future court proceedings related to the charges filed against them in order to have the matter resolved.

Being arrested can be scary but people should know that bail bondsmen are available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week to help get them out of jail. A good bondsman will help you understand how bail works.