Handcuffs and walkie-talkie on a police officer.

A Lowdown on the Criminal Arrest Process

The criminal arrest process can be distressing not just for the person who gets arrested but also for their family. If not dealt with properly, one may find themselves in a deeper problem than they started with.

While we should all hope to stay miles away from the criminal arrest process, it wouldn’t hurt to know its basics and how it works. Here’s everything you need to know about this process and how you can get out of it with minimal damage.

1.    Investigation

The criminal case starts with a law enforcement agency starting the investigation against an individual after a particular case or incident. The investigation can start when a witness or victim reports someone’s illegal behavior.

2.    Arrest

An arrest is made when the police find probable cause or evidence against a person and use the information to restrict their movement. In some cases, probable cause is enough for the judge to issue an arrest warrant. Without a warrant, the police may detain the alleged criminal and seek a warrant in a stipulated time.

3.    Charging Document

After the arrest, the officers have to summarize their findings and present them to the prosecutors. The prosecutor is then responsible for presenting the case in front of a non-partial jury. The jury then develops a charging document against the alleged felon—also called an indictment.

4.    Initial Hearing

Judge’s polished, brown gavel.

The initial hearing (called arraignment in some cases) is done to set future court dates, take the defendant’s plea, set bail, or appoint a public defender to the case.

5.    Discovery

In this phase, both parties exchange evidence to ensure that justice prevails. Discovery evidence includes witness lists and their statements, police records, videos, etc.

6.    Plea Bargain

The case gets resolved as soon as the defendant enters a plea bargain. In this situation, they either plead guilty or not guilty. In most cases, the plea bargain doesn’t happen until later down the road.

7.    Preliminary Hearing & Trial

The preliminary hearing is done to decide whether the prosecutor has probable cause to pursue the case. If they’re unable to present substantial evidence, the judge may dismiss the case. If not dismissed, the case goes to trial, where all the evidence and witnesses are produced in front of the court.

8.    Sentencing & Appeal

The sentencing happens at the end of the trial or whenever the defendant pleas bargain. The judge announces the charges during the sentencing and decides on a punishment (if found guilty). Once you’re found guilty, you can either accept the charges or file an appeal in a higher court. This appeal is made to review the decision made by the lower court.

Got Arrested? Hire a Bail Bond Agency

If you or your loved ones have been charged with a criminal offense, the first thing to do is find an affordable bail bond service. The licensed bail bond agent will be responsible for depositing a surety amount to the court on your behalf. You can get out of jail and fight your case from home.


If you’re looking for a  24-hour bail bond service in Kosciusko County, Wabash County, Miami County, Jasper County, and nearby areas in Indiana, get in touch with us at DeLaughter Bail Bonds. Our experts will help you get out of jail and deal with the situation in a better manner.


To learn more about us, call 260-578-0505 and get started right away!

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