My Family Member Just Got Arrested In Raleigh — Now What?

First, breathe. The police are likely taking him or her (we’ll use him for purposes of continuity in this post) to the Wake County Detention Center at 3301 Hammond Road in Southeast Raleigh. There, he will be processed (fingerprinted, searched, etc.) and go in front of a magistrate. The magistrate will determine his bond.

If he has no prior record and the crime is minor, he may receive a written promise to appear or an unsecured bond. This means he will be released quickly. If he receives a secured bond, that bond must be posted before he can be released from jail. If you do not have the full amount of bond money, which you probably don’t, you can hire a bondsman. The bondsman will ask for around 10% of the bond (If it’s a $50,000 bond the bondsman may ask for $5,000) and then he will post the full amount. You do not receive the money back that you pay the bondsman.

If he is not released, he should have a first appearance the next day (if the court is open) in front of a judge at the Wake County Justice Center. He will likely appear via closed-circuit television in the courtroom unless the case is high-profile. The judge will decide if the bond should be higher or lower. He should not say anything about his case at this point to the judge because it can and will be used to further prosecute him, and the judge also simply does not care.

The judge will then set a court date. Appearance is mandatory unless the defendant is told otherwise.

When Should We Hire A Lawyer?

During the first appearance, the judge will ask the defendant if he would like an attorney appointed to him or if he would like to hire his own. If one is appointed, the lawyer will get in touch with the defendant theoretically before the first court date, although many appointed attorneys have huge case loads and are not always able to.

If the defendant chooses to hire his own attorney, this should be done much sooner than later. A Raleigh criminal defense lawyer knows which motions and forms need to be filed immediately to make the case move along faster, including discovery motions.

To recap, if police in Wake County just arrested your family member:

1. Go to the Wake County Detention Center, unless you are told they are taking him somewhere else. (They may take him to the station first to interview him)

2. After bond is set, determine if you need a bail bondsman.

3. Call a Raleigh attorney immediately for advice.

4. Attend the first appearance if you so choose. It will be very brief — likely less than two minutes.

5. Make sure the defendant appears at his first court date (if he has been released from jail).

If the police have charge you or your family member with a crime, call William Pruden at 919-880-2124. William handles many criminal matters in Wake County. Y

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