Arrested in California: What Comes Next? | Crowell Law Offices

08 May Arrested in California: What Comes Next?

No matter what type of crime you’ve been accused of committing, being arrested is bound to cause major upset in your life. Even a misdemeanor charge can put you in jail, have you missing out on work, and cause you to face legal penalties and life challenges if convicted. Following the initial arrest, you might be wondering what’s going to happen next.

If you’ve never been convicted of a crime before, you may not even know how the criminal justice process works. Although the steps can vary slightly depending on the seriousness of the charge against you, here is the basic process you will face following an arrest for a crime.

What Happens After Being Arrested for a Crime in California?

Jail or Citation

The first thing that will happen after your arrest is that you could be taken to jail. If it’s a serious crime, you could be forced to remain in jail until your trial, unless you can afford bail. For less serious crimes, you might be taken to jail but quickly released pending your trial. You could also be given a citation with a notice to appear in court.


You will be given information of when your next court hearing is. Failure to attend a hearing will likely result in a warrant being issued for your arrest, and you could be taken back to jail.

Hearings are a part of the criminal justice process, and you will be required to attend hearings about your case. Hearings were created with the intent of getting all involved parties on the same page with what’s happening in your case.

For instance, the prosecution might request more time to gather evidence or your defense attorney might make a motion to delay the trial because you need to travel for work.

Plea Agreements

There are a few ways for your criminal charge to be resolved. First, you can plead guilty to the crime in which you will receive the crime on your permanent record and will be punished accordingly. Or, your case could be dismissed for various reasons before ever going to trial. Finally, Your case could go to trial where you are either convicted or acquitted.

Trial or Dismissal

If your case is dismissed, you may not have to deal with this charge again, unless it’s dismissed without prejudice, which simply means the state can bring the charge again if they receive more evidence against you. In this situation, you could be charged again but only within the statute of limitations for the offense.

In any case, if your case goes to trial, your attorney will help you fight the charge and avoid conviction.

Need More Information About Criminal Procedure? Call a Lawyer Today

These are just the basic steps that follow an arrest, but each person’s case is unique and things could be a little different in your case. Contact a lawyer to discuss your options following a criminal arrest in California. Crowell Law Offices can be reached through the internet submission form on this webpage, or you can call our office at 916-303-2800.