I Was Arrested, But Released On A Citation... NOW WHAT?

Some police agencies will "cite and release" an individual for minor misdemeanor offenses (including petty theft, under certain circumstances). Your signature at the bottom of a citation serves as your promise to appear in court. Those who are cited and released on a misdemeanor have not yet gone through the formal "booking" procedure.



Bail is to assure a person's attendance in court and for trial. Normally bail is set in an amount according to the seriousness and circumstances of the crime. You may pay the entire amount of bail yourself, in which case the entire bond amount will be returned to you upon completion of your case. Most people will pay a bail bondsman a fixed percentage of the amount of bail as the bondsman's fee for posting the entire bond amount with the court. You will not get this money back. Upon completion of the case the bondsman gets his entire bond back. If you ever fail to appear in court the bondsman loses the entire bond. The court will issue a warrant for your arrest and the bondsman (as well as the police) will come looking for you.


I Was Arrested & Given A Court Date.... NOW WHAT?

The very first court appearance is called the arraignment. At the arraignment, the court provides you or your private attorney with a copy of the complaint. The complaint is a written document, filed by the prosecutor, accusing you of one or more crimes.