What Really Happens If You Are Arrested and Jailed?
- Handcuffs: Most officers use them on ALL offenders, even women, regardless of the reason for the arrest. They are used for the officer's protection. They are frequently fastened tight enough to leave marks on your wrists when they are removed. This is not illegal.
- Treatment: People complain that they were treated like criminals. Once arrested, regardless of what the arrest was for, in the eyes of the officiers and jailors, you are a criminal. They may not be polite, and your handling may not be gentle.
- Mug shots and fingerprints: These are taken by all people jailed, regardless of the charge.
- Searches: I mean searches of your person. The officer who initially stops you can do a pat-down search of you for weapons. At the jail, a thorough search of you is done before you are put in a cell.
- Holding cells: Jails don't have a special cell for traffic offenders, college students or young people. If you are 17 or older, you're put in a cell with whoever has been recently arrested. On TV, the holding cell is never crowded, and the other prisoners are asleep or friendly. In reality, most jails are crowded, there are no empty bunks, and your fellow prisoners are not pleasant to smell or talk to.
- Phone call: You have the legal right to one phone call. You'll make it at the jailor's convenience, not yours. You may get to make it right away, or it may be hours later. Use this call to arrange bail money to get out of jail.
- Length of detention after bond is made or fine is paid: This can be a long time. The courts have allowed at least 24 hours. You're released at the jail's convenience, not yours. If you are waiting to go before a judge, it can be longer.