As a Mesa Criminal Law Attorney, I have been addressing the question, “what do I do if I am arrested?”  In Part One of my blog, I discussed what it means to be arrested and who can arrest you. In Part Two of my blog, I discussed your rights during the arrest process. I will now discuss the “booking” process and going before the judge. If after the arrest, the police decide to book the individual then that means they do not intend to release them and several other things will have to happen. In the state of Arizona, an individual who has been arrested and booked into jail must see a judge within 24 hours. If they do not see a judge within 24 hours then they must be released immediately. Most law-enforcement organizations have facilities and procedures set up in order to ensure that an individual sees a judge before that 24-hour limit is reached.  The “booking” process is lengthy and can take many hours in order to complete. Again, cooperation with the process is required but the individual does not have to make statements or provide evidence that can be used against them later in a court of law.  Once the booking process is completed, the individual will be taken before a judge or magistrate. The judge will make a decision regarding release conditions.  It is important, throughout the booking process, for the individual to provide information with regard to their residence, the length of time they have resided in community, employment address in history and family ties to the community.  This information is essential for the court to be able to decide whether the individual poses a flight risk. If this information is not provided, then the court can only conclude that they person is not a stable member of the community and will require a sizable bond to secure their appearance at future court dates. The other factor the judge will consider in determining release conditions is the severity of the offense for which individual has been charged. However, when the individual appears before the judge this is not a time to argue or make statements with regard to the facts of the case or make an attempt to convince the judge that this is all a big mistake and the charges should be dismissed.  The Judge generally does not allow statements like this and does not have the authority at that point in time to dismiss the case even if he was so inclined.  Statements such as these are most certainly being recorded and would absolutely be used against individual if they could be used in any way to incriminate them.

In the time between when someone is arrested and before they are taken to see a judge, it is important to attempt to retain legal counsel.  An attorney can appear with the individual when they are taken before the judge.  The attorney can make statements about the case, and can make argument to the court about the severity of the crime and the individual’s flight risk considerations.  When an attorney is involved, unless an individual is charged with a very serious crime, has a substantial criminal history or committed the current offense while on release for another offense, the result of being arrested and booked into jail, will normally result in them being released with a promise to return or released to a third party or with a minimal bond.  In the days following an arrest, it is essential that the individual contact and consult with a skilled criminal attorney.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please feel free to contact Mesa Criminal Attorney, Garrett L. Smith at 480-540-6021 log on to, or contact an attorney in your area.