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Arrest / Complaint / Indictment

Arrest / Complaint / Indictment

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The following information will be beneficial to those searching for information about Arrests, Complaints and Indictments:

Booked: Being “Booked” means you were taken down to the jail in order to be fingerprinted and photographed and placed into their “book”. Usually you are held until you are released by one of four methods. Three of the methods mandate that you have to see a judge (”Own Recognizance Release”, “Third Party Release”, “Pretrial Services Release”- see definitions below). The fourth method of release (”Bond”) can be accomplished by the officer telling you what your bond amount is according to a “Bonding Schedule”, or it can involve seeing a judge so the judge can set your bond amount.

Cite in lieu of detention (CLD): This is when the officer writes you a “Ticket” for an alleged offense and then has you sign the bottom promising to appear in court on a certain date. He then hands you the ticket and releases you (either to a cab, a third party, or simply on your own). The next date on the ticket is what is known as an “Initial Appearance”.

Arrest: Technically an arrest is whenever an officer has placed you in custody. This can be as simply as forcing you to remain at a certain location (i.e. you are not free to leave. Officers are allowed to keep you for minor “investigatory detentions,” which would include brief detentions in order to write you a ticket. However, for purposes for this definition, we will assume an arrest is when you have actually been handcuffed and taken to another location (be it the police station, a police van, or actually being booked into jail and held to see a judge).

Complaint: A “Complaint” or “Long Form Complaint” is a document the prosecutor prepares, which is a written statement of the facts that allegedly constitute an offense. It is a sworn statement submitted to a judge or magistrate. When the judge signs off on the complaint, a “Summons” is then issued. A summons can either be personally served or sent by certified mail. A summons will not be forwarded from a last known address. This means that if you have moved, the summons will be returned to the court and a “Warrant” will be issued for your arrest. Eventually, you will either be picked up by officers who show up at your new address, or more likely, you will be stopped several years down the road for a minor traffic violation and be hauled off to jail. At this point, an “Arrest” will have occurred and you will start the process by either posting a bond or seeing a judge. Long Form Complaints are usually reserved for less serious felonies (i.e., class 4, 5, or 6 felonies).

Indictment: An “Indictment” can only occur after a “Grand Jury” has met. A Grand Jury is simply a group of people which have been summonsed to appear to as grand jurors three days a week for a two to three month period. They hear roughly 30 different “stories” a day which are presented by a prosecutor, and they then decide whether to issue a “True Bill”. Once the True Bill has been signed, it has been determined that probable cause exists and an indictment will be issued. The indictment can either be served in person or by certified mail. This means that if you have moved, the summons will be returned to the court and a warrant will be issued for your arrest. Eventually, you will either be picked up by officers who show up at your new address, or more likely, you will be stopped several years down the road for a minor traffic violation and be hauled off to jail. At this point, an “Arrest” will have occurred and you will start the process by either posting a bond or seeing a judge. Indictments are usually reserved for only serious felonies (i.e., class 1, 2, or 3 felonies).

Contact DM Cantor and speak to a Criminal Attorney in Arizona about your case. We handle DUI/ DWI cases, vehicular crimes, homicide, drug and sex offenses, white collar crimes, property crimes and other violent crimes.

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