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Criminal Booking Process



Arrested in Texas: What Happens Now?

Getting arrested in the state of Texas is never an enjoyable experience. No matter whether the charges are minor or severe, getting placed in handcuffs and transported to the county jail in the back of a squad car can be nerve-racking and intimidating. Fortunately, there is a set pattern of events that occur after an arrest. This means that, with a little foreknowledge, you can understand what is happening and be prepared for situations as they occur.

If you’ve been arrested, there’s a good chance that you’re going to get booked into jail. Exactly how long you stay in jail is entirely dependent on how you handle the situation. Check out the following information to find out how you can get through the criminal booking process as quickly as possible.

I’ve Been Arrested, Now What?

It’s a common scenario throughout the state of Texas. A person is driving home from work, out for a night with friends or getting into some mischief when things take a turn for the worse. Despite their best efforts, sometimes people make mistakes. In some cases, those mistakes are quickly followed by the words “I’m placing you under arrest…” and the feeling of handcuffs being placed around your wrists.

When someone is arrested for a crime in Texas, the next step is to transport them to the jail or the booking facility. “Booking” is simply a term used to describe the process of taking down a person’s information, the charges against them and then placing them in custody to await the next step of the process.

Here’s a typical scenario:

Jose is out at a bar with friends to celebrate his birthday. Another man approaches the group and begins placing his hands on Jose’s girlfriend. Jose is angered and takes the man outside, where he punches him, knocking him unconscious. The man’s friend calls the police and Jose is arrested for assault.

Of course, Jose may protest that he was only protecting his girlfriend. However, it’s not the time and place for that. That can be discussed in court. For the time being, Jose will be handcuffed and transported to the county jail.

What Happens In Jail?

Once the police cruiser arrives at the jail, the arrested person will be led inside and searched for weapons or contraband. They may have their personal items and valuables confiscated and they may be asked to change into jail clothes.

Jail staff will then explain the charges being filed against the person and then grant an opportunity to make phone calls.

This is a critical time for anyone who has just been arrested. They should immediately call two people:

  • A lawyer, if they have one
  • A friend or family member who can bail them out

If a person already has a lawyer on retainer, that should be the first person that they call. Their lawyer can arrange the bail process and start working on a defense plan. Failing that, a call to a trusted friend or family member is the next best thing. That person can meet with a bail bondsman to put up the funds or collateral to bail out the person who has been arrested.

Once the phone calls and arrangements have been made, it’s time to wait patiently.

The Waiting Game

If you find yourself in jail, be on your best behavior. You’ll get your day in court and trying to cause a scene will make things much worse. Just remember:

  • Follow all orders given to you by jail staff and law enforcement officers
  • Do not say anything to anyone about your case other than your lawyer
  • Do not try to argue or plead your case with anyone; it won’t do any good

The county jail is not a life sentence. It only serves the purpose of housing people until they can either be released or transported to another facility to await their day in court. If you can get bailed out, that’s the best course of option. If you can’t afford your bail, you may be taken to another facility or another part of the jail and placed there to stay.

While you’re incarcerated, stay patient. You will get your day in court. Until then, don’t worry, jail is not the end of the world. You’ll have food, medical treatment, the opportunity to make phone calls and the opportunity to meet with a public defender. This will give you a chance to plan your next move or make plans to come up with bail money.

If you’ve been arrested, no matter what happens, don’t panic. Getting booked into jail is just a temporary inconvenience on your way to your chance to defend your innocence. The best course of action is to hire an attorney as soon as possible.


Are you facing criminal charges in Texas? Attorney Matthew Sharp can help you navigate the complex legal system. Contact his office today at 713-868-6100.

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