Restoring Your Child’s Future

Has A Loved One Been Arrested? Here's What To Expect Next

If an arrest has affected a loved one, it's only natural to feel stressed out and upset. Knowing what to expect next might help you and your loved one to cope and feel more confident as you move forward. Read on to find out more.

What to Know About These Events

State law can vary and some of the below events are known by alternate terms and in a slightly different order. The below can give you an idea of what happens in common criminal cases, but a consultation with a criminal law attorney is vital if your loved one is to be found innocent or when it's time to negotiate for a plea bargain.

The Arrest

All criminal cases involve an arrest. Arrests may not be common, however, for some traffic violations or marijuana misdemeanors. The defendant may be given a citation at the scene with instructions printed directly on the ticket.


Not all of those arrested are interrogated. For crimes like driving under the influence, the state may rely on field sobriety test results, camera footage, and the arresting officer's statement instead of interrogating the defendant. With more serious crimes, such as kidnapping, rape, murder, robbery, etc., the defendant will be interviewed after being given a Miranda warning. Defendants have the right to have legal counsel at an interview, and the more serious the charges, the more one is needed.

Charges are Brought

In some cases, the charges are brought by the arresting officer and some charges may be brought by the state. What you need to understand, however, is that charges can be changed at any time based on the evidence and other factors as time goes on and the case evolves. The charges can be dropped, reduced, or increased and this can occur until the defendant either agrees to a plea bargain or the case is complete.

Bail is Offered

With all but the most serious of crimes, defendants can be freed from jail by using bail. Bail is a sum of money defendants pay to the courts and a series of conditions that must be obeyed. Bail is based on the crime and the personal characteristics of the defendant.

Plea Bargain or the Trial

The final act will decide the guilt and the sentence for those who plead guilty or are found guilty. Plea bargains are more common than not and it's vital to have legal representation when making the decision to plead guilty to a certain crime and to accept a certain sentence.

Urge your loved one to speak to a criminal attorney, like those at Johnson Motinger Greenwood Law Firm, as soon as possible.