What Happens After I Am Arrested?
Once you’re arrested, you will either be taken to the arresting agency’s temporary holding facility to await transport to the Harris County Jail or you will be taken directly to the Harris County Jail. It’s possible to make bail while you’re still at the holding facility, but most people aren’t able to make bail that quickly.
Once you arrive at the Harris County Jail, you’re going to go through the inmate intake process. They’re inventorying your property and take your booking photo, also called a mugshot. You’re going to get fingerprinted and you’ll be interviewed by a jail doctor. They’re going to take your clothing and issue an orange jumpsuit. Jail staff will look at your criminal history and the nature of your charge, classify you according to what they think your risk level is, and assign you to one of the three separate jail facilities behind the courthouse. They’ll assign you to a floor that they think is appropriate for your security level. Within 24 hours for misdemeanors, or within 48 hours for felonies, you’ll appear in front of a judge for what’s called a “probable cause hearing.” These probable cause hearings take place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Probable cause hearings are done by video conference from the Harris County jail. A judge will formally tell you what you’ve been charged with, and then a prosecutor will read a summary of what the police say are the facts of the case. The judge will then make a decision as to whether there is probable cause to hold you, and if there is probable cause, whether you will get a PR bond or whether a cash amount will be set as your bond.
If there are any protective orders that are going to be issued in your case, this is typically when they are entered. You’ll get a copy of the protective order, which will order you not to go near where the alleged victim lives or works.
Your case will be then assigned randomly to one of the 16 misdemeanor or 22 felony courts and a court date will be set for your first appearance.
To learn what happens after you get out of jail on bail, click here.
For more information on how bail is set, click here.
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