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What to Do if You Are Arrested in Madison, Mississippi

Police arresting a criminal

An arrest is a traumatic time for anyone. Wether you have the misfortune of being arrested or a family member is arrested, the fear can be excrutiating. An arrest in Ridgeland or the City of Madison, Madison County, Mississippi, will generally lead to some time in the Madison County Detention Facility. The Madison Detention Facility is a jail operated by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. It is an efficient and very tough facility.

If you are arrested you can expect to spend some time in jail. If you are arrested for a misdemeanor by one of the cities in the county of Madison, Mississippi, the City Judge may permit you to be released on bail. Bail is the term used to signify some guarantee that you will show up in Court for your hearing or trial. You might be allowed to post a cash bond or pay a bonding company money and the company will post a surety bond. Generally, unless you have adequate cash on hand when you are arrested, you may have to post a surety bond. You post a surety bond by paying a bondsman ten (10%) percent of the amount of the bail set by the Court. For example, if you are arrested for a misdemeanor and your bail is set at $1,000.00 dollars, then you would pay a bondsman approximately $100.00 to secure your release. There is also a small processing fee.

If you post a cash bond then you have to give the Court Clerk’s Office the total amount of the bond. In the example above that would be $1,000.00. There are problems with a cash bond. If you get arrested and the Clerk’s Office is closed then you cannot post a cash bond until the Clerk’s Office is open. Most people use a bondsman. A bondsman usually gets you out the quickest. There is also a bond called a personal recognizance bond. This is where the Court allows you to leave based on your oral promise to show up in Court. I do not see this type of bond used very often.

There are also some instances when the officer can issue a field release. This is simply a ticket that tells you when to come to Court. I wish more officers used field releases, but officers seem to like to arrest people and the require them to post a surety bond. If you are arrested for a felony charge, then you may not be allowed out of jail until you see a Judge. The law requires that anyone arrested be taken before a Judge within 48 hours after their arrest, but weekends are excluded from the computation. If you are arrested on a Saturday, it could be Wednesday before you see a Judge.

Felony charges typically require higher bail and cost the accused more money. I can say from experience that bonds are used by police officers far too often as a form of punishment because a person did not adequately cooperate in the opinion of the officer during the arrest. This is an improper use of bail. Bail is for one thing: It is to secure the appearance of the accused before the Court to face the charges. When you have a felony charge sometimes you have a bond hearing before you can get released from jail. The length and complexity of the bond hearing depends on the seriousness of the charge.

During a bail or bond hearing the Court looks at such factors as your reputation, length of time in the community, did you have a job, do you have family members in the community, are other people supportative of you, and do you have a prior criminal record, ect. There are some serious crimes that permit the Court to deny bond and if you commit a crime while on bond the Court and revoke your first bond. If arrested you definitely want to get out on bond. It is easier to work on your defense and work with your lawyer, not to mention that you cannot work or see your family with ease while in jail.

Every jail is different but the Madison County, Mississippi jail is tough. The jailers do not tolerate any foolishness. The conditions are hard. The food is not good and your freedom is severely restricted. You get limited access to a phone system that is expensive. If you get arrested the best thing to do is be polite and cooperative with the intake information but do not discuss your case or the facts of your arrest. You can ask for a phone call but the jailers do not always give you a call immediately.

When a person is rude or difficult during an arrest or booking it just makes it harder to get out of jail. You don’t have to discuss your arrest or the facts of your case but you should be polite. The jailers have a job to do and far too many people arrested are rude and this makes the jailers rude. Remember, the goal is to get out of jail quickly, not be a smart-ass to the jailers. The best thing to do if you are arrested is to call someone you can trust and explain where you are and why your are arrested. The person you call can then work on getting you out of jail.

If you have any specific questions that this Blog Post has not answered just leave me a comment and I will answer you questions. The majority of people are able to make bail, but in these difficult economic times I am seeing more and more people in jail due to financial hardship.

Merrida Coxwell is an attorney with over 30 years experience helping people charged with felony and misdemeanor crimes. Mr. Coxwell has handled complex white collar and other types of cases. He is skilled in both trials and appeals.

If you are charged with a crime you may qualify for a consultation. Call Mr. Merrida (Buddy) Coxwell at (601) 265-7766.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.