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Arrested in Palm Beach County? Now What?

Darren D. Shull, P.A. > Arrested in Palm Beach County? Now What?

The shock of arrest. The humiliating experience of a physical in-custody arrest where you are taken to the main jail, fingerprinted, booked, photo taken and put behind bars is one of the worst experiences you can go through and it can have a long lasting effect on the rest of your life. Let The Law Offices of  Darren D. Shull help you understand this process…



It is extremely important that an attorney is hired for a first appearance after being arrested and placed in the Palm Beach County Jail. At The Law Offices of Darren D. Shull, we can represent you or your loved one at the first appearance to secure a release.



View the list of offenses not eligible for bond.


Notice to Appear or Administrative Arrest

Although some folks don’t realize they have been arrested, given a Notice to Appear in court for a criminal charge is actually an arrest or technically known as an administrative arrest. A police Officer can physically arrest you and take you to jail for any criminal offense in their discretion, however the resources, time management and department policy for most Law enforcement agencies directs Officers to simply issue a notice to appear or an administrative arrest for minor crimes such as possession of marijuana, possession of paraphernalia, driving with suspended license, retail theft, reckless driving and the like. What appears in your criminal history then is your arrest date, case number, charges and the history of your case. Even if you get your case dropped a background check performed on you will reveal these charges and remain a permanent fixture in your personal history unless you take the proactive measure of having your record sealed or expunged. Getting convicted on a few of the aforementioned charges can result in the suspension of your driving privileges.



In Custody or Physical Arrest


In Custody or Physical Arrest is any arrest that involves an officer taking you to jail where you are fingerprinted, booked, photographed and held behind bars and conditions of release are imposed such as a bond or other restrictive conditions. If you do not bond out for whatever reason within 24 hours you will appear before a magistrate or Judge to determine conditions of release if the offenses qualify. This process is called a first appearance. It is extremely important to have legal representation at this first appearance hearing to help secure the release of a family member who is incarcerated after an arrest. The consequences of a physical arrest are much greater than an administrative arrest and the implications are far greater. Because you have been booked into jail and your photo taken your record takes on a whole new dimension. Your booking photo, address, criminal charges and bond conditions will within hours be posted on the internet. To add to the aggravation and embarrassment several private websites will then re-post the same information including maps to your address. Almost all of these websites will remove your information for a fee. A Google search of your name will reveal where your information has been reposted. As with the administrative arrest even if you get your case dropped, a background check will reveal these charges and remain a permanent fixture in your record unless you take the proactive measure of having your arrest record sealed or expunged.



Misdemeanor Arrests vs. Felony Arrests


Misdemeanor arrests, with the exception of domestic battery and DUI cases go directly to the State Attorney’s Office for prosecution in county court. Misdemeanor cases are handled in county court satellites such as in Delray Beach in South County, in Belle Glade in Western County, at the main County Courthouse in West Palm Beach and in North County at the North County Courthouse in Palm Beach Gardens. In Martin County all cases are handled at the courthouse in Stuart on Ocean Ave and in St. Lucie County the courthouse in Ft. Pierce on 2nd Ave.



Again except for Domestic Battery and DUI cases which are handled like felony cases, Misdemeanor arrests generally are not reviewed before they go to court for the first time. Even in misdemeanor cases it may make a “Positive” difference to have your “Personal” defense attorney contact the prosecutor prior to a court hearing with exculpatory information if available “to mitigate or lessen the charges you have been arrested for.



Felony arrests involve crimes that can involve the incarceration of an individual for cases that could entail State prison time. Third-degree felonies are punishable by maximum of five years in the Department of Corrections; Second-degree felonies are punishable up to 15 years, first-degree felonies are punishable up to 30 years; First degree felonies are punishable by life up to a life sentence, life felonies, life in prison, capital felonies mandatory life in prison or the death penalty.



Felony the arrests are always reviewed by a prosecutor before they go to court to see whether or not the State Attorney’s office will choose to prosecute the charges that the police have brought against an individual. An Assistant State Attorney reviewing a new felony, domestic battery or DUI case sits in a quasi judicial role in reviewing these arrest cases. A criminal defense attorney can intervene in this filing process to get beneficial results for the client.



So just because you have been arrested does not mean the State Attorney’s office is actually going to prosecute the case; they may drop the charges in a nolle prosse; the State may file the charges as the officer arrested, they may down file the charges to lesser offenses or they may up file the charges and make the charges greater. This is why it is important to have some type of intervention during the filing process on a felony arrest case or investigation.



Many times a counter investigation can reveal information that is beneficial to the client that the arresting police officer has not found or simply did not include in their arrest or investigation. At the Law Offices of Darren D. Shull. P.A. we can conduct a legal review of your arrest. We can determine whether it is in your best interest to intervene after your arrest at the prosecution level, which can possibly get you a positive result.