What Happens After I’m Arrested in Oklahoma?
When you have been arrested, whether for a misdemeanor or felony offense, the first thing that happens is that you will be booked into the jail through the police booking process. This could mean anything from a city or municipal jail to a county jail or even a federal holding facility. The location you are taken to is affected by the type of crime you are accused of, the agency placing you under arrest and the area you are arrested in.
Most often when you are arrested, you will be booked into the county jail. Once you are booked in, a process that can take up to several hours, the sheriff will have 24-48 hours, assuming it is not a weekend or holiday, to have you brought before a judge.
This is called the initial appearance, a plea of not guilty is entered, and the judge will set a bond.
What Rights Do I Have After I Am Arrested?
You have the right to remain silent, which is extremely important. You should never discuss your case with, police officers, detention officers, any other type of law enforcement agent, other inmates, or over jail phones.
Our first thought when we are accused of something is to defend ourselves or explain our side; this is not a benefit for you. Police, correction officers or other inmates can often seem friendly and act as if they can make things easier for you if you tell your side, but they are simply trying to build a case, they are not trying to do you any favors. Never give statements and if asked to your response should always be, “Not without my lawyer.”
Another important right you have is a right to bond or a hearing in front of a judge regarding you being held in custody while your case is pending. The sheriff or marshal must ensure that you are seen by a judge promptly to have your detention assessed.
In state or municipal court, you may see a judge over a video monitor, but that judge will inform you of your charges and set a bond amount or offer you a release on some conditions or your promise to return to court on another court date.
In federal court, you will be brought before a judge, for a hearing to determine if you will be held or given the opportunity for pre-trial release. The federal system does not have the bond and release system the State and municipal courts do, but there are systems in place for people to be released while their case is pending.
Finally, you will always have your right to a lawyer. Having an attorney early in your case can have a huge impact on your case. Attorneys can often help you get a reduced bond or even a personal recognizance bond. Attorneys can also begin fighting for you by gathering up evidence and speaking with prosecutors before charges are even filed. A lawyer can ensure that your rights are being protected and you understand the pitfalls and traps of the criminal justice system. You are entitled to a public defender, but you will always get better attention by hiring your own criminal defense lawyer. Public defenders are often overloaded and simply don’t have the time to dedicate the resources necessary to everyone.
Will I Be Arraigned Before I Am Released from Jail?
It all depends on how long you are in jail. If you do not bond out the jail has 24-48 hours to have you arraigned by a judge. However, if you are arrested and booked during a weekend or holiday, you may have to wait longer.
If you are arrested and booked into a municipal or county jail, you can post bond before going in front of a judge for an arraignment. You can do this in one of several ways.
How to Get Bonded in Oklahoma
The most common way is for you to hire a bondsman. A bondsman will post the full amount of your bond, and you pay the bondsman a percentage of the bond, typically 10% plus fees.
Another way to post a bond is to post a cash bond. This is when you post the full amount of the bond yourself.
Finally, you can sometimes put up the property, often a home, for bond purposes.
It is essential to get in touch with an attorney as quickly as possible because they can help get you a lower bond or even a bond that does not require you to post any money.
At What Point Should I Contact an Attorney After Being Arrested?
You want to hire an OKC criminal defense attorney as soon as possible following an arrest. Having an attorney by your side early will put you at an advantage because you will have someone fighting for you and your rights from the beginning. Even if you are unable to bond out of jail, hiring a private lawyer can give you the advantage of someone with more time and resources to focus on your case and your individual needs.
Can I Contact an Attorney Prior to Taking a Blood or Breath Test in a DUI Case?
No. Under Oklahoma’s implied consent laws you do not have the right to consult a DUI attorney before deciding to take a breath or blood test. When the officer reads the implied consent form to you, this should be stated.
It is important to note that you have a right to refuse to take the State’s test. However, there are things to consider before you make that decision. First, a refusal will revoke your driver’s license. And second, prosecutors can and do use a refusal as evidence that you didn’t take the test because you knew you were intoxicated.
It is often best to take the test, but request your independent test as well.
For more information on the aftermath of an arrest, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling Angela Singleton at (405) 510-0345.