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Can You Be Held Without Being Charged? Your Rights After an Arrest

In the ’90s TV show “Twin Peaks,” one of the main characters, Ben Horne, is arrested on suspicion of murdering a girl in the town. Ben is held in the county jail for over 24 hours without being charged. When his lawyer arrives, he tells the sheriff that since 24 hours have passed, Ben must either be charged or released.

The sheriff promptly charges Ben-who is actually innocent-with murder and holds him in the cell until the true culprit is caught several days later.

This storyline repeats itself in countless procedural cop shows and legal dramas. In shows like “Law and Order” and “NCIS,” a character is often arrested on suspicion of committing a crime and is held for 24 hours or more without being charged and without having a bail amount set.

Can this situation actually happen to you? If you’re held for 24 hours without being charged, is the jail really required to let you go?

A Beginner’s Guide to Bail and Bondsmen in Minnesota

A man in need of a bail bondsman.

If you have you found yourself in trouble with the law for the first time, you may feel bewildered, frightened, and desperate to get out of jail. Depending on the seriousness of the crime you’ve allegedly committed, you may be required to post bail before you’re able to go home.

Bail amounts vary, but they can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars for serious criminal charges. Whatever the amount, if you can’t afford to pay it, then you’ll be stuck in jail until your bail is paid or you face trial in court.

If you can’t afford bail, then you may need to seek out the service of a bail bondsman. You may know a little about this subject, most of which may have been garnered from TV shows or movies, or you may know next to nothing, especially if this is your first brush with the law.

How a Judge Determines Your Bail

You walk into the courtroom alongside your lawyer. The judge asks for your plea, and you enter it. Your lawyer argues for your bail to be set at a reasonable amount. The prosecution recommends a much higher amount and suggest several intense restrictions for conditions of your release on bail. The judge hears both arguments, sets bail, and bangs the gavel. Unfortunately, the number that left your judge’s mouth seems astronomically high to you. How could anyone be expected to pay that amount, just to be released on bail? To answer that often-asked question, we’ve outlined the top five factors the judge uses to determine your bail.

What to Expect After an Arrest

An arrest and the prospect of several court appearances can make anyone feel unsettled, whether the arrest happened to you or someone close to you. But those worries can be even bigger if you have never passed through this process before. You may be unsure what steps will take place or how to prepare for each event. This blog explains the basic process of what happens after an arrest. Familiarize yourself with the information below so you can ease any worries you have about the post-arrest proceedings.