Getting Arrested

Arrested - What Happens Next?

In Texas, if you are arrested for a felony or misdemeanor criminal offense, here is what you may expect:

First, you will appear in front of a magistrate judge and bond will be set. In some instances – such as parole or probation violation – a defendant may be held without bail. At the initial arraignment, you will be advised of certain rights, including the right to counsel, the right to court-appointed counsel if you cannot afford an attorney (with the exception of Class C Misdemeanors), and, if you are a foreign national, the right to notificaty your country’s consulate.

If you are able to post bail (which may be done using a bail bondsman, an attorney (for some offenses in some counties) or cash or property, you will be released.

The next steps are likely to occur whether a defendant remains incarcerated or not.

Depending upon whether the offense you are charged with is a felony or misdemeanor, you will either be formally charged through an indictment (felony cases) or a criminal information (misdemeanor). Felony indictments must be issued by the grand jury. Misdemeanor criminal informations are issued by the county or district attorney (depending upon the county).

Once you have been formally charged by indictment or information, you will receive a court date for a formal arraignment. At this hearing, you will enter a formal plea. Following arraignment, a schedule for discovery and trial will be set, and your case will be prepared for trial.

You can elect a trial in front of a jury of your peers, or a judge, or agree to a plea bargain.