Each day hundreds of people are arrested throughout Georgia. For many of these individuals, it is the first time they have ever been arrested and they do not know what to expect from their encounter with the criminal justice system. So, what happens after an arrest?

Well, for starters, if the arrest is for an alleged felony crime, or even a serious misdemeanor crime, the arrestee will usually be “booked” into the local jail. Shortly thereafter, a bail amount will be set, which allows the arrestee to pay a certain sum of money in order to get out of jail while the criminal case is pending.

From there, each criminal case is different. Some arrestees want to talk about plea bargains as soon as possible, so that they can put the case behind them quickly. Others, however, want to explore all of the defense options that are potentially available, including pushing their case all the way to a trial. Throughout the process, defendants will be entitled to review the evidence that the prosecutor intends to use in the case. Defendants are also guaranteed certain constitutional rights, which must not be violated by law enforcement officials or the prosecution.

After an arrest, consider your options

An arrest can be a nerve-racking event. Whether the arrestee is a first-time defendant, or has a prior arrest record, every defendant has the right to present a defense to the charges. Since the decisions that a defendant makes are oftentimes serious and potentially life-altering, Georgia residents who have been arrested, no matter the charge, should be sure to consider all of their options.