What to Expect When You’re Arrested

Apr 01, 2020


For most people getting arrested is not a common occurrence.  What you've seen in the movies or television is likely all you have to base your expectations on. Rarely is Hollywood's portrayal of something a true-to-life depiction.  So, what can you expect when you are arrested in the state of California?

Miranda Rights

The Miranda Rights are real and something you absolutely need to keep in mind after you are arrested.  Your right to remain silent is to protect yourself from yourself.  This can be especially difficult to do if you have been drinking, so keep in mind that the more you say the better the chances of incriminating yourself. As the next line goes "anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law."

Your right to an attorney is an important part of the Miranda Rights as well.  The sooner you are able to retain counsel the better the chance you will have of acquittal or your case being dismissed altogether.

DUI Tests

In California you have the right to refuse the field sobriety tests, this includes the preliminary alcohol screening breathalyzer.  However, if you are arrested for a DUI you must submit to a final evidential chemical test of either breath or blood, failure to do so can result in a license suspension of one to three years.  Even if you continue to refuse, the police will likely be able to get a warrant to execute the test and will force you to do a blood test.  Also, an important thing to remember, in California you are not eligible to reach out to your attorney until after your blood-alcohol level is tested.

Remember, that no matter your blood-alcohol level your right to remain silent is still valid. This is the part of the arrest that you should call an attorney and allow him or her to begin the initiative of getting you bonded and beginning your defense. Your defense should not begin while in a holding cell without representation.

Charges and Arraignment

The United States Constitution guarantees you the right to a speedy trial.  Therefore, the prosecution has to file charges against you relatively quickly, 48 hours, excluding holidays and weekends.  At that point, you will go before a judge and make your plea – not guilty, guilty or no contest.  Your attorney will advise you what your plea should be at this point.  Generally, most everyone pleads not guilty so they have time to review the evidence, engage in further discussions with DA regarding settlement, run motions that need to be run, or set the case for trial.

If you plead not guilty, a judge will decide the amount of money that you need to put up in either cash or bond to be released from jail. You will be released either on your own recognizance (without a bond), or via bond if you can afford one.  You may also be given the option of being released out on pretrial release under the supervision of the probation department. Unfortunately, if you are deemed to be too high of risk or the crime is, particularly serious you could remain detained in custody pending the outcome of the case.  After that, you will be given a court date for your next hearing.


Our legal system can seem slow, especially the first time you are arrested. Remember, patience is key. Whatever else you had going on in life will have just taken a backseat to your new situation.  While it's almost impossible to relax under the circumstances, do your best to remember that you're not the first person in this situation and the legal system is set up to help you, especially with the right counsel.

Contact the Mitchell Law Group to help you through the legal process.  Fresno DUI attorney, Michael Mitchell offers reasonable payment plans to ensure that everyone has access to a high-powered legal defense when they need it the most. Don't run the risk of losing your license, losing your job, having a DUI on your driving record, or trying to fight a DUI on your own.

Category: Criminal Defense

Michael Mitchell

Michael Mitchell is a Fresno attorney who practices in the areas of DUI, personal injury & criminal law. Visit his Google+ profile.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.  Testimonials displayed on this website do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter

Michael E. Mitchell, at the Mitchell Law Group, Inc., is one of the top DUI defense attorneys in Fresno, California. He has over a decade of experience handling DUI cases throughout the Central Valley, including in Clovis, Madera, Tulare, Visalia. He is a certified field sobriety instructor and practitioner under the standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association. His advice and knowledge is, routinely, sought after by other attorneys practicing in the area of DUI defense. He is an expert in the area of DUI defense in both Federal, State, and on the Appellate level. If your looking for the best DUI Lawyer in Fresno to handle your case, give us a call today to see how we can put our knowledge to work for you.