When an individual is arrested, they may be taken back to the police department. The police officer may want to question the individual. When an individual is under arrest and held at the police department, they must be Mirandized before being questioned.
It is important for people to know their rights and to understand that they may refuse to speak to the police. The police officer’s job is to try and get that person to talk. They want to try and catch the person in lies or an inconsistency.
They are attempting to corroborate what they think happened. Sometimes, however, the police officer will not want to question the person. And so instead, the person will be arrested and transported directly to the central booking facility in Salisbury. Everyone arrested is taken there for processing where they are photographed and fingerprinted.
District Court Commisioner
The next step is an appearance in front of the district court commissioner.
That person is employed by the state and is responsible for determining if the defendant can be released on a bond. The commissioner will advise the person of what they are charged with and the maximum penalties. And they will also advise the defendant of the right to have an attorney.
The commissioner will then ask questions about where the defendant lives, where he works and his ties to the community. The commissioner will run the defendant’s record to determine if he has been arrested before and if has failed to appear for court in the past.
Based on all of that information, the commissioner will either release the person on his own recognizance, set a bond amount, make the determination to hold the defendant without bond.
There are some charges that if alleged, the commissioner is not allow to set bond and the defendant must appear in front of a judge before the issue of bond will be addressed.
Posting Bond in Salisbury
If a bond is set and the defendant can afford to post it, the bond can be posted and the defendant will be released pre-trial. The defendants and their families often need to utilize the services of a bail bondsman to be released on bond. A bail bondsman will post the entire bond for the defendant and the defendant will have to pay a percentage of that amount to the bail bondsman.
The money that the defendant pays to a bail bondsman is nonrefundable. You are paying for the service of the bail bondsman. Alternatively, the defendant can post the bond directly to the court. If the bond is posted directly to the court, once the case has concluded, the defendant can get all of the money returned.
If the bond is too high or the commissioner could not set a bond, then the defendant remains incarcerated until the next court date where he can appear in front of the judge. The defendant has the right to be represented by an attorney at this bond review hearing. And often an attorney can be the difference between being released on a reasonable bond or staying in jail.
Bond Review Hearings
The judge will consider many similar factors that were considered by the commissioner. But an attorney can provide additional information that the defendant cannot get access to due to his being incarcerated.
In Salisbury, these bond reviews are conducted electronically by video cameras. The defendant remains at the jail but will be taken to a room where he can see a monitor and see and hear the judge. And the judge has the screen in front of the bench in the courtroom and can see and hear the defendant.
At the conclusion of the bond review hearing, the judge will decide whether to release a defendant on his own recognizance or whether to lower the bail or leave it the same or raise it. Also, during this bond review, the judge will advise the defendant of what he’s charged with, the maximum penalties and the right to counsel.
Arraignments and The Initial Appearance
This portion of the hearing is often referred to as the arraignment or the initial appearance. These types of appearances also take place in circuit court, which is where a person’s case will be heard if they have been charged with felonies.
I recommend that a defendant get in touch with an attorney right away. If the defendant is incarcerated, then I typically hear from his family first. A family member can call on the defendant’s behalf and make arrangements to hire an attorney. I often have family members contact me and ask me to go to the jail to meet with the defendant.
This type of communication is fine, it’s just very important to remember that jail calls are monitored and anything said during these phone calls can be used against the defendant at a trial.
So, it is important to remember to not mention any facts about your case during the phone calls made from the jail.