An arrest can be extremely upsetting, not just for the suspect but for his or her loved ones as well. Receiving the news of a loved one being arrested often prompts family members to search for ways to help. There are several things to consider when your loved one is arrested in Austin, Texas. Some of these concerns are universal, while others may be related to the loved one's unique needs, such as a medical condition that requires vital medication. In many cases, contacting a criminal defense lawyer is one of the first considerations. To learn more about what to do following the arrest of your loved one, consider contacting an experienced Austin criminal defense lawyer at Jason English Law by calling (512) 454-7548.
What Happens When Someone Is Arrested in Texas?
The process of an arrest will vary slightly depending on the county and the circumstances of the case. However, most arrests generally follow a similar process that includes:
Police officers may question the suspect either before or after the arrest. Questioning is often used when the suspect has been detained in an attempt to find probable cause for an arrest. The officer must read the Miranda rights to the suspect before asking any questions. Many people find it best to invoke their right to remain silent by refusing to answer questions, as their responses could be used as evidence—even if the suspect is innocent.
Once an officer has decided to pursue charges, he or she will usually bring the suspect to the police station or the county jail for booking. This process includes taking fingerprints and photographs, along with recording the suspect's personal information.
At this stage, a prosecutor will decide whether to formally press charges for the alleged offense. If charges are filed, the suspect has a right to appear before a judge within 48 hours of the arrest. During the arraignment, the judge will explain the charges and ask the suspect to enter a plea. The judge will also have the option to set a bail amount or a personal bond, which does not require payment for release.
After charges have been filed, the suspect can either post the full amount of bail or receive a bail bond, which allows a payment of only 10 percent of the full amount. If bail is posted, the suspect will be free until his or her next court date. Suspects who do not post bail will be held until their next court date. If a personal bond was allowed, the accused will be released automatically with the expectation that he or she will attend all future court dates.
What Should You Do If a Loved One Has Been Arrested?
There are a few key things to consider when your loved one is arrested in Austin, Texas:
- Stay calm and supportive—Regardless of whether you believe that your loved one is guilty, he or she will need support from those who are able to provide it. Being arrested and going through the criminal justice system can be extremely stressful.
- Gather as much information as possible—Find out as much as you can about the arrest, the charges, and the potential penalties your loved one faces. This information will be useful when he or she meets with a criminal defense lawyer.
- Find a bondsman and post bail—If the judge assigned bail, and you have the means to pay it (or a bail bond), bond your loved one out of jail as soon as possible.
- Consider contacting a criminal defense attorney—Those who are charged with crimes have the right to legal representation. Whether this is a court-appointed public defender or a private criminal defense attorney, help your loved one make arrangements to meet with the attorney to discuss his or her case.
You can learn more about what steps to take after a loved one's arrest from a knowledgeable attorney at Jason English Law.
How Do I Find Out If Someone Was Arrested in Austin, Texas?
If you suspect that a loved one has been arrested, there are ways to find out. All information regarding people in jail in Austin can be found by contacting the jail information division of the Travis County Sheriff's Office. You can also search your loved one's name in the system using the “Find an Inmate” search feature provided by the Travis County Sheriff's Office.