An arrest is frightening. You're undoubtedly wondering what will happen next and where you're going. Many of our clients are also concerned about the possible consequences of a conviction and whether they'll spend time in jail or prison. Also, our clients want to know where they'll be incarcerated if they spend time in jail. In this article, we'll discuss some of our clients' most common questions about the aftermath of an arrest, where the police may hold you, and where you can end up incarcerated after a conviction.
However, the most important thing to remember is that you are innocent until proven guilty. An arrest and a criminal charge do not mean that you'll go to jail or that a court will convict you. After an arrest, the most urgent thing is hiring an expert in criminal defense law like attorney Doug Murphy. An expert in criminal defense can ensure the best possible outcome in your case and protect your rights in the immediate aftermath of an arrest. You don't have to navigate the Houston criminal justice system alone.
After the Arrest
Upon your arrest, the police will take you into custody. While in custody, it's good to remember that the law enforcement officials transporting you, booking you, or questioning you are not your friends. You should not speak to the police except to offer identifying information such as your name, birthdate, and address. After the police book you, you will remain in a holding cell until you pay bail or go to court.
- In Custody
Once you are in custody, call an attorney right away and ask for an attorney if the police try to question you. If you call an attorney immediately, they may be able to represent you at your arraignment, ensuring the court only requires a reasonable bail or bond. They can also ensure that the police don't violate your rights while in custody, withholding food, drink, sleep, or information.
Do not plead guilty at your arraignment. If you have an attorney representing you at the hearing, they can speak on your behalf. If you plead guilty, you will lose your right to discovery, your right to a trial, and you'll lose your opportunity to speak with a lawyer. You'll hear the charges against you during the arraignment and can enter your plea. The court may also enter conditions for your release referred to as "bond conditions".
Jail Time After a Conviction
Texas has three types of correctional facilities, including county jails, state jails, and prisons. Many people with misdemeanor convictions will spend their time in a Harris County jail. There are three facilities, including:
1200 Baker St.
701 N. San Jacinto St.
711 N. San Jacinto St.
But Harris County also uses several out-of-state detention centers when facilities are full. These detention centers include:
Newton County Correctional Facility
2402 East Court St.
Newton, TX 75966
LaSalle Correction Center
15976 Hwy. 165
Olla, LA 71465
West Carroll Detention Center
180 Capital Bank Dr.
Epps, LA 71237
Texas state jails house people with both misdemeanor and felony convictions. Those with state jail felony convictions will likely go to a state jail. With a felony conviction, you will likely go to a prison in Texas if there is room. The offense level will likely decide your prison placement and whether your crime is classified as minimum, low, medium, high, or administrative. In determining your placement, the Bureau of Prisons will consider the following:
- Your release home,
- Prison overcrowding,
- Available programs,
- Monitoring issues,
- The court's recommendation,
- Protecting victims, witnesses, and the public,
- Internal security,
- Housing type,
- Prisoner-to-staff ratio, and
- Other factors
There are prisons for men and women located throughout Texas. However, you may end up in a nearby state due to overcrowding.
Where is My Loved One? How Can I Find Them?
We often get calls from clients when a friend or a loved one has been arrested. They want to know what they can do to help. When someone you know is arrested for DWI or any criminal charge, you can help. The first thing you'll need to do after the police arrest a loved one is locate them. Your task will be easier if they call you from jail to let you know where they are. But in many cases, you may get a call from a friend, spouse, or co-worker telling you the police just arrested your loved one, and they may not know where they've gone. In these cases, you'll have to find them.
Typically, after an arrest in the Houston area, police will take them to the Harris County Joint Processing Center at 700 North San Jacinto Street until their release. You'll need their name, birthdate, and social security number. You can also use the Harris County Sheriff's Department online lookup tool or call the Houston Help Line at 713-837-0311. Although sometimes the online lookup tool has a bit of a delay, it can take several hours to process someone after an arrest.
Fortunately, you don't have to do this alone. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you find your loved one in jail, work on their release, help with arranging bail or a bond, and protect their rights while your loved one is in custody.
You Need a Board Certified Expert in Texas Criminal Defense Law
If you or a loved one are facing arrest or criminal charges, you need an experienced lawyer representing you as soon as possible. Attorney Doug Murphy is an expert in criminal defense and is board-certified in Criminal Defense Law and DWI Defense, one of only two attorneys in Texas who is board-certified in both these specialties. Best Lawyers in America also recently named Doug a 2023 “Lawyer of the Year” for DWI defense in Houston, a designation voted on by his peers in the Houston area.
Doug and the skilled legal team at the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. have helped many people through criminal charges and the Texas criminal justice system. They have extensive experience in criminal defense and as prosecutors and can help you too. Call the firm at 713-229-8333, or contact them online to schedule your consultation.