What happens when you are arrested?

What happens when you are arrested is the officers will take you into custody and you will generally be asked two types of questions: routine and interrogation. As long as the questioning is somehow related to your stay while in jail, it will be considered a routine booking question. To interrogate you, police must read your Miranda Rights after you’re arrested. Learn more and find a local attorney with our free legal tool below.

UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023Fact Checked

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Jeffrey Johnson

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023

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UPDATED: Jul 17, 2023Fact Checked

Once you are arrested, you will be taken into custody. Usually, you will be driven in a police car to a local jail. After your arrest, you will generally be asked two types of questions including routine and interrogation.

Routine questions do not require a “Miranda Warning.” They involve questions that are necessary or routine to the booking process. Routine booking questions include:

  • Your name and address.
  • Your identifiers, like your driver’s license number.
  • Where you work.
  • Emergency contact information.
  • Any medical conditions that you receive treatment for.

As long as the question is somehow related to your stay while in jail, it will be considered a routine booking question. If the questions start to involve the reason for your arrest, then the questioning becomes a “custodial interrogation.”

Custodial Interrogation after an Arrest

A custodial interrogation is where you are asked questions after you have been arrested and are still in the custody of the police. Before you can be asked questions while you are in custody, the police must read you a set of “Miranda Warnings.” Miranda Warnings go something like this:

“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”

Any statements obtained during the arrest without a proper Miranda Warning can be suppressed, which means they cannot be used against you later in court.

What Happens After Booking?

After booking, you will be held until you are arraigned. This is a procedure where a local judge will advise you on what you are officially being charged with. The judge will also set your bail. Judges should also inquire whether you want a lawyer appointed to represent you. If you indicate that you do want a court appointed lawyer, most jurisdictions will require you to complete an affidavit verifying that you do not have the resources to pay for a lawyer before they will finally appoint you one.

After arraignment, you may post bond. Make sure that you list clear and correct contact information on your bond. This is where the court will send your court date notices if your case goes forward.

Case Studies: What Happens When You Are Arrested

Case Study 1: Routine Booking Questions

John was recently arrested and taken into custody. During the booking process, he was asked a series of routine questions related to his stay in jail. These questions, necessary for the booking procedure, did not require a Miranda Warning. John’s case sheds light on the significance of routine booking questions and their role in the arrest process.

Case Study 2: Custodial Interrogation 

Sarah found herself in a custodial interrogation after being arrested. While still in police custody, she was subjected to questioning by the officers. However, before the questioning began, the police failed to read her the Miranda Rights. Sarah’s case highlights the importance of Miranda Warnings and the potential consequences of not receiving them during a custodial interrogation.

Case Study 3: Arraignment and Court Proceedings 

Michael’s arrest led him to the subsequent arraignment and court proceedings. After the booking phase, he was held in custody until his arraignment hearing. During this hearing, a local judge informed him of the official charges he was facing and set bail. Michael’s case provides insights into the arraignment process and the role of the judge in determining the course of action.

Getting Help

If you did not receive a court appointed lawyer, you should begin looking for a criminal defense lawyer before your first court date. Many courts will only give you a limited time to find a lawyer before they set your case for trial.  

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Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Insurance Lawyer

Mary Martin

Published Legal Expert

Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

Published Legal Expert

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

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