The short answer is you go to jail and you want to get bonded out as quickly as possible!  In very rare and minor cases an officer does have the discretion to give you a Promise to Appear (PTA) but don’t get your hopes up.  In most cases, you will be taken to the Pre-Trial Detention Center after your arrest and trust me you will want out ASAP!

Bonding Out After an Arrest

How can you bond out as quickly as possible? Contact your Miami criminal defense attorney the moment you’re confronted with a law enforcement officer — on a side note, remember your right to remain silent, oftentimes telling your side of the story doesn’t benefit you at this point). Once you make contact with your attorney let him know where you are, what you’re being investigated for, and provide the attorney with contact information of a family member or friend who is willing and able to post the bond for you. The attorney will be able to coordinate a meeting between the person bonding you out and a reputable bondsman.

Most of the time the bondsman will be able to post your bond right away and you will be able to leave once the booking process is complete. However, there are certain arrests, such as a domestic violence battery arrest, that requires you to be held in custody for a 24-hour cooling-off period and for more serious charges you can be held without bond. Just because a person is being held No Bond does not mean they cannot get out. Your Miami criminal defense attorney can request an Arthur Hearing and petition the court for a discretionary bond.

The Booking Process

What is the booking process? It’s an official record of your arrest.  The task of administratively processing you into the jail is called “booking.” There is no way around being booked into jail if you were taken into custody. You will be booked and placed in a cell, sometimes for hours or days if you were arrested over the weekend. Why? Most judges don’t hear new cases until Monday morning.

Booking someone into jail normally involves the following steps:

  • Collecting your biographical information – Name, address, date of birth, etc.
  • Taking a booking photo, or “mug shot” – Mug shots are used for a number of purposes, including identifying two people who have the same name, photographic lineups, and establishing a suspect’s physical condition at the time of their arrest.
  • Inventory of your personal property –  You are entitled to all of it back when you leave, except for contraband or evidence.
  • Fingerprinting
  • Full Search – To ensure you don’t have a weapon, contraband, etc. before you are placed in jail.
  • Criminal History Check – If you have an open case or an active warrant in the system for an unrelated matter, you will not likely be released on bail until you go before the judge assigned to your open case. Many judges will hold a person on No Bond if they pick up a new case while they are on a pre-trial release or if the person is picked up on a warrant. Contact a Miami criminal defense attorney to discuss ways to motion the court to set a discretionary bond.
  • Preliminary Health Screening – To protect the health and safety of jail staff and other inmates.



Am I Entitled to a Miami Criminal Defense Attorney During the Booking Process?  

No. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees you the right to a criminal defense lawyer at every “critical stage” of the prosecution. Unfortunately, the booking process is not regarded as a critical stage, but rather a routine administrative procedure. So, even if you are trying to reach a lawyer, and a lawyer is trying to reach you, you are not “entitled” to have a lawyer with you. Law enforcement knows this and sometimes attempts to exploit the process by eliciting information from you.  As I stated earlier, resist the urge to talk, explain, or say anything that is not required during the process. Remember, law enforcement is not trying to help you; they are trying to elicit incriminating information from you to help build their case. If you weren’t able to contact your Miami criminal defense attorney prior to or during the booking process, get in touch with your lawyer as soon as possible!

Arrested and Need a Miami Criminal Divorce Lawyer? Call Piotrowski Law

When you are arrested you will experience a flurry of emotions and will want answers to a lot of questions. The only person who can help calm your fear and stress and answer those questions is a Miami criminal defense attorney. It is in your best interest to speak with a defense attorney who knows the Miami area as soon as possible after being arrested. Don’t bank on the idea that the police don’t have enough evidence to hold you or that they didn’t have probable cause and you will just simply be released. You need an attorney to protect and defend your rights. Contact the office of Piotrowski Law at 305-204-5000 to schedule a consultation today.