If you or someone you know has been arrested in Arlington, Virginia here’s what you should know about being arrested. For more specific information contact an Arlington criminal defense lawyer today.
When you’re arrested for an offense there are certain offenses that by statute officers in Virginia must release you on a summons.
In that case, the officer will investigate the case, he will probably try to talk to you and get your side of the story, whatever it is. He or she will be noting those words, they will be noting everything that you say, they’ll be investigating the incident, speaking to witnesses and gathering whatever evidence they can.
At the end of that investigation they will hopefully issue you a summons for you to promise to appear on court. However, if it’s a certain type of crime such as a DUI, or a drunk in public or a felony offense, you will be taken into custody and brought back to the Arlington County Detention Center which is located across from the courthouse.
Once there, the officer must go in front of a magistrate–the magistrate is a neutral officer who determines whether there’s probable cause to believe that you committed the offense the officer says you committed. So, you go in front of a magistrate, the magistrate will either accept the officer’s testimony and issue charging documents that he or she believes is appropriate or on some rare cases, they won’t find probable cause and you won’t be charged at that time. You will be released, and the officer may go do more investigation and come back and possibly get another warrant. If a warrant is issued, the magistrate will also determine whether you should be released on bond or not and will set that bond at that time.
The answer is that it depends. If you are issued a summons, you’re charged at the time that summons is issued to you. If a warrant has been previously sworn out, then you can be considered charged when that warrant has been served on you and you are arrested.
If instead of being released on a summons you are taken to booking, you aren’t officially charged until the neutral magistrate has issued warrants and those have been served on you.
If it is for misdemeanor offenses of a certain type you will be released on summons –so you’ll be taken nowhere. You will be asked to sign a piece of paper that says that you promise to appear at the courthouse on a certain date for your arraignment, but once you sign that paper, you will be free to go.
Certain offenses, such as DUI, drunk in public, felonies and some others require that the officer arrest you. In that case, if you are arrested, you’ll be taken to the Arlington County Detention Center which is located in a building directly across from the courthouse. That is essentially the jail.
Once there you’ll be taken into booking, they will do routine booking procedures such as searching you again if you have already been searched once; getting your information; maybe attempt to question you about the incident for which you were arrested; fingerprint you; doany preliminary tests that are necessary.
They’ll then take you to a magistrate who will either set a bond or hold you without bond. If you’re intoxicated, they will wait until you’re sober to release if you if a bond has been set. If a magistrate sets no bond or a high bond, you will remain in the Arlington County Detention Center until your court date or until you are able to make bond. If released, you will have to return to the court on your next court date and may have to cooperate with pre-trial probation pending the next court date.