Would I Look Guilty If I Hired An Attorney Prior To An Arrest?

I get asked if someone will look guilty if they hire an attorney a lot. I have people come to the office who’ve been in contact with the police about certain activities that they may have participated in. They’ve answered some questions and believe that they’re likely to be arrested. While it doesn’t make you look guilty, it’s not necessarily a good time to hire an attorney. Because an attorney needs to see what you’re charged with to know how best to handle your case. Until you’ve been charged the speculation as to what charges that the prosecutor will file won’t help. My advice is to get some advice and then go from there.

What Happens In The First 24 To 72 Hours After I Have Been Arrested?

If you’ve just been arrested, then you’re going to be booked into the jail for the jurisdiction that you’re in and within that first 24 to 72 hours there are a couple of things that can happen. The client can post bail. Sometimes, they’ll get a bail amount that can be posted through cash or a bondsman. If they have loved ones, family and friends, they can work with a bail bondsman and get them out of jail during that time period.

If no bail that’s been provided, then the individual will likely go in front of a judge or magistrate within that timeframe. Depending on the day of the week this can happen quickly. For example, if you were arrested on a Monday you might go before the judge the following day. However, if you’re arrested on a Friday you might not see the judge until Monday or Tuesday of the next week. Charges have to be filed within 72 hours in Utah.

When you go in front of the judge, they will ask if you want to hire an attorney or not and the status of the charges pending. In other words, are they going to remain in custody or should they release the individual on their own recognizance. The most important thing here is to try and get bail. No one likes to be in jail and it’s important for family members and friends to know that it’s not a good place for their loved one to be. They need to try and bail them out quickly or they will go in front of the judge who will set bail, release them, or wait until the case is resolved in the jail. That’s what happens.

Will I Be Arraigned Before I Am Released From Jail?

Whether a person is arraigned before they are released depends on whether the person bails out within a couple of hours of being booked. If they are then they will schedule an arraignment for a later date. If they can’t make bail, then they will go before the judge to be arraigned at which point the judge will make that decision whether to release them or to set bail. That decision will be based on a recommendation from the prosecution. Several factors that the judge will use to determine bail are if the individuals are from out of state, they’re just passing through, or they have significant ties to the community. It’s not always an arraignment before release.

At What Point Could I Or Should I Contact An Attorney?

You can contact an attorney at any time. I would if I’ve had any contact with an investigator or think that I may be involved in some kind of illegal activity. If some kind of situation has arisen where there’s a potential risk of criminal charges, then I would definitely contact an attorney at that point. Breaking that down, if there’s a belief that you have criminal liability, contact an attorney. If you’ve had contact with a detective or an investigator asking you about a particular case: I would first of all exercise my right to remain silent and not answer questions. However, immediately after that, I would contact an attorney. Definitely call an attorney if charges have been filed or you have been arrested. Contact an attorney the minute you know that those charges have been filed. As soon as you get out of jail the first place he should go is to an attorney’s office to get advice on how best to proceed with your case.

How Do I Know What Happens Next After I Am Released From Jail?

Once you’re out of jail and released then you’ll get a lot of paperwork. It could be an impound report, evidence list, or the return of a search warrant. If they’re bonded out, bailed out, or the judge releases them then they’re going to leave with a court date and time for their next appearance. For example, if someone is arrested for DUI on a Friday evening, they might leave the jail with a court hearing date for the following Tuesday, the bondsman may give them the date and time, or they read it on one of the pieces of paper they were given.

However, that’s not always the correct date because the officer will have to take the DUI citation and file it with a clerk in the prosecutor’s office on Monday which then has to be processed by the court Thus, it’s not necessarily going to be processed and ready to go by Tuesday. The court might not even know about the case on that Tuesday. The best thing to do is to contact the attorney. They have the access to the court system and their computers; they can look up case numbers, court dates, and the places where they should appear and if necessary and they can look to see what charges have been filed. They can also reschedule those court dates and times if they are retained. When you leave the jail with paperwork it’s important to be mindful of your next court appearance and if you don’t have that date and you’re not going to use the services of an attorney to call the court then I would call the court once a day, later in the afternoon, to see if the case has been filed. See if they have information about where and when you need to be there. I always tell people they’ll know when charges are filed if their address is correct because they’ll start getting letters from lawyers wanting to represent them. Usually, when you leave from jail then you leave with a date for your next hearing.

For more information on Hiring An Attorney Prior To Arrest In Utah, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (801) 477-5009 today.

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