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After the arrest you will be transported to the police station where you will be “booked.”

At this point a police officer will record all of your personal information and take your fingerprints, photograph, and confiscate all personal items (keys, cell phone). The officer will furthermore search your criminal history and place you in a holding or jail cell, normally with many other suspects.

Sometimes for a minor charge you can be arrested, booked, and spend the night in holding. The next day you will stand before a judge, the result of which could be a dismissal, the filing of a criminal complaint, etc.

Unless the charge is very serious you can usually secure your release with bail. Bail is essentially a cash amount and a promise to appear in all future proceedings in exchange for your conditional release.

If you are not allowed to post bail at the station after booking, which could happen for a number of reasons, a judge may later set a monetary figure based upon his assessment of the following:

It is also possible to secure an “own recognizance” release, meaning no money has to be paid to the court, you are simply released on a promise, in writing, to appear in all future court proceedings. Should you fail to show for any required appearance, a warrant will be issued, you will be subject to immediate arrest, and in effect lose any chance at a bail release from this point on.


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Phone: (781) 438-6600 - Fax: (781) 942-7034 - richard.woods@comcast.net