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I got arrested, now what?

 What to do after being arrested

After you’ve been arrested, the first thing that usually happens is booking. The overwhelming majority of individuals are arrested somewhere other than their residence, so they are either transported directly county jail or a substation. In Hillsborough County, you will first be taken to Orient Road Jail prior to being transported to Faulkenburg Road Jail. Orient Road Jail is used for intake and releasing inmates in Hillsborough. If you are arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, you will generally be taken to a substation somewhere in the county prior to being brought to Orient Road Jail.


At booking, you will be photographed, fingerprinted, and asked a series of questions (full name, address, date of birth, etc.). You will also have the opportunity to make the infamous phone call.


Next you will appear for your first appearance. This is the first time you go before a judge (usually within 24 hours of your arrest). Florida law generally requires you have the opportunity to go before a judge in your first 24 hours to ensure you have an opportunity to receive a bond. The judge will ask you if you’re able to afford a lawyer. If you’re unable to afford an attorney then the judge will appoint one for you (unless the crime you’ve been charged with does not meet the criteria for an attorney to be assigned). This involves completing a financial affidavit listing all your financial assets, costs and income.


The judge will also determine whether he or she is going to grant you bail and if so how much the bail will be. Florida law requires criminal defendants be afforded a reasonable bond, except in very specific instances, generally concerning capital crimes. Bail (bond) is an amount of money you pay the court to be released from jail until your hearing (trial). If you appear for all your court dates, once your case is resolve your bond will be refunded to you. If you do not show up to your court date then the court will keep your bond and issue a warrant for your arrest for failure to appear. If the charge you are facing is a felony, failing to appear for court will result in being charged with Failure to Appear, which is another third degree felony with a maximum of five (5) years in Florida state prison. Additionally, it can make it more difficult to get a lower bond or a bondsman accepting responsibility for your bond with a history of failing to appear. If you are unable to afford bond, you can use a bondsmen (a service that will pay your bond for you for a fee, usually about 10% of the full bond cost).


If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges for the first time, contact the Florida criminal lawyers of Hackworth Law, P.A. for a free case consultation. We regularly conduct free case consultations in the Pinellas County Jail, Faulkenburg Road Jail and Polk County Jail. We look forward to working with you during this difficult process.

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