Once you’re arrested, you’ll be taken into custody and usually within 24 hours would be taken before a magistrate, and bond would be set. Once the bond is set, then you’re able to get out of jail. So one option at that point is posting a cash bond; if the bond is set at $1,000, then you’d deposit $1,000, and that $1,000 is returned to you after the case is over, minus a small administrative fee, usually around $35 or so. Another option, rather than coming up with the full amount of the bond, is to hire a bondsman or a bondsperson; they typically charge 10% to 20% of the face value of the bond. So if the bond is set at $1,000, they’ll usually charge you $100 to $200 to write the bond for you.
The bondsman takes on the responsibility of ensuring you show up for court, and the bondsman takes the risk of losing the money if you don’t show up for court, but the money paid to the bondsperson is a fee for their service, so that means you don’t get that money back when the case is over. So you have to wait for bond to be set, within 24 hours; then you can secure a release on bond. Of course, the next most important thing you want to do is hire an expert attorney.
Once a person is taken into custody, they should be told of their Miranda Rights, the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney appointed to represent them and to consult an attorney before answering any questions, the right to terminate the interview at any time and the fact that anything they say can be used against them in court. Now, if a person is not informed of their rights, it’s not an automatic get out of jail free card or an automatic dismissal of the case, but it can lead to evidence not being admissible against the person. For instance, if the person is questioned and were taken into custody without being informed of their rights, then the answers to those questions and any evidence that the answers lead to are illegally obtained, so they can’t be used against the person because they were not informed of their right to remain silent and to not answer any questions.
Any time a person is taken into custody, they have the right to remain silent, not answer any questions and the right to counsel. Now, just because they are in custody, that doesn’t mean they have the right for an attorney to be appointed immediately and advise them, but they do have the right to an attorney to advise them prior to answering any questions. So I think those are the two most important rights. The most important for any person who’s been arrested is to exercise those rights and not answer any questions.
They should be, yes. They should be arraigned, which means a magistrate or a judge informs them of what they are charged with and also informs them of the level of the charge, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, and also decides what amount of bond should be set to allow their release and ensure their appearance in court.
They should contact an attorney as soon as possible. If they’re given an opportunity to use the phone, they should contact an attorney right away. They may not be given that opportunity, and they don’t have to be given that opportunity right away, but they should certainly take advantage of that opportunity as soon as they can, and they should be provided that opportunity before there is any interrogation or questioning.
Most officers will not allow you to. If they allow you to, that’s fine, and you should, but most officers will tell a person at that point that they don’t have a right to an attorney to help them decide whether or not to take the test. Technically, that’s true; but if they’re given the opportunity to contact an attorney or if they request the opportunity, they should go ahead and take advantage of the opportunity to do so. Most police officers will not allow them to at that point, and that’s a good reason to refuse the test and a good point at which to say, “I refuse the test, and I refuse to answer any questions.”