Being arrested is a scary experience because the defendant doesn’t know what to expect next. Continue reading to learn what you can expect a short stint in jail to be like.
In most cases of misdemeanor and felony arrests, a person is detained by law enforcement, and then transferred to the nearest county jail where they will await for their bond hearing. A bond hearing generally takes place within 24 hours of the arrest, and if bail is set, the defendant can bond out of jail.
If a person has an arrest warrant in their name, they will have to surrender to authorities on their own volition, otherwise they can risk being detained by police at any time; this includes routine traffic stops, such as being pulled over for speeding or a having a headlight out.
You may be feeling anxious about going to jail, but there is really nothing to worry about. County jails and detention centers are much different from extended stay jails and prisons. So long as you follow the rules and conduct yourself in a respectful manner, you should have no issues waiting to post bail.
What Happens After an Arrest:
After being arrested, you will be escorted from the police car to the receiving area of the jail. From there, you will be taken to a separate room to be searched for weapons and other prohibited items. Females and males are searched separately in different sections of the jail. Women officers assist females and male officers assist the men.
Next you will be escorted to the processing division. Once in the processing division, the booking process will commence. This includes a series of steps, which started with a body search, then continues on with finger printing, mug shot, and medical checks. The jail staff will collect, record, and enter all this information in the local jail database.
What Jail is Like:
Once the processing segment is complete, the jail staff will walk you to your cell. The processing wing of the jail has different types of cells than the extended stay wing. The processing center cells are concrete rooms with a single concrete bench and a no-privacy toilet. Some cells have pay phones and drinking fountains, but not all. They are around 400 square feet, and can be shared with up to 20 other inmates.
The number of inmates per cell largely depends on the amount of jail traffic, which can become quite high due to overcrowding and lack of funding in some counties. You can expect to remain in this cell until a judge sets your bail and all the paperwork is completed for your release. If you cannot post bail, you will be transferred to the extended stay part of the jail to await your scheduled court hearing, which can take anywhere from 10 to 48 hours.
See our blog “How to Behave in Jail While Waiting on a Bail Bond” to learn how to have the most comfortable and successful experience. You may also benefit from reading our blog, “How to Endure Jail Time While Waiting for a Bail Bond” to learn ways to evade boredom and keep yourself occupied.