Stephen L. H.: You’ve been out drinking with your friends. You’ve had a couple of beers, and you’ve been pulled over. Now, you’ve been arrested for a DWI. What in the world’s going on? What’s going to happen down at the jail? What can I expect? Hello. My name is Stephen Hamilton, and I’m a board certified criminal defense attorney practicing in Lubbock, Texas and the surrounding areas. That’s a question that is asked every day.
Stephen L. H.: Once you’ve been arrested, you will be transported to the jail in Lubbock, the county detention facility, and you will be booked in. One of the first questions people ask is, “When can I make a phone call?” That really depends. It depends upon the booking when they let you make the phone call. Once you’re booked in or even before that, you should be able to make at least two phone calls. The booking process in Lubbock sometimes takes a long time. I’ve had clients who have been in jail for upwards of 36 or 48 hours. Being booked in simply means you’re in line. So, if you’re number 47 arrested that day, you’re going to be number 47 when you’re booked into the jail.
Stephen L. H.: Once you’re booked in, then you would go before a magistrate. A magistrate is just a judge who’s going to look at the initial police report and decide if there’s enough evidence to hold you or bind you over. We call it a probable cause determination. What they’ll do at that point is just look at it, see that the police officer’s report is there, and then they will set bond. Once the bond is set, then there’s a couple of ways to get out of jail. One is to use a bail bond company. So, if a bond, for example, or a bail is $1,500, they may charge you 10% or 150, $200, and then they would get you out of jail, and you’d be responsible for checking in and calling them. Once the magistrate says, “Here’s what it is, $1,500,” then the bonding company … or if you put up the entire $1,500, that can happen, so that you can get processed out of jail.
Stephen L. H.: The biggest thing is this. If you’re in jail, be polite. If you give the jailers problems, you go to the back of the line, and it can take a long time to get out of jail. So, your case isn’t going to be decided quickly. You’re not pleading guilty in jail. Just get through what you got to do. Get out of jail. Don’t make any admissions. Don’t make any confessions while you’re in jail. Then when you get out of jail, call me. My number is (806) 794-0394. We’ll schedule a time to come in and talk to me about the case. My name is Stephen Hamilton, and I hope you have a great day.