When Someone Is Arrested

What Happens When Someone Is Arrested?

Once a defendant ​is in custody, he or she may be identified by the victim or witnesses, and he or she may make a statement to the police. Prior to being taken into custody, police will conduct a search of his or her person and the officers are entitled to seize any contraband or evidence found during the search. is in custody, he or she may be identified by the victim or witnesses, and he or she may make a statement to the police. Prior to being taken into custody, police will conduct a search of his or her person and the officers are entitled to seize any contraband or evidence found during the search. Evidence includes the proceeds of the crime (e.g., money and other valuables taken from the victim), any tools used to commit the crime (e.g., a weapon or burglar’s tools), and any items that help to connect the defendant with the crime, the victim or the scene of the crime (e,g., clothing, a residence, vehicle, etc.). The arresting officer will then store the seized property at the designated property section for the seizing police agency.

Transport & Intake


Upon arrest, a defendant is transported to the arresting agency’s police station or the Prince George’s County Correctional Center. During his or her intake, a defendant will be booked, which includes fingerprinting and obtaining his or her biographical information, such as name, date of birth and address. The arresting officer also prepares the statement of probable cause, arrest report and other police forms at this time.

Appearing Before a County Commission


Within 24 hours following arrest and booking, the defendant must be taken before a county commissioner. The commissioner sets a bail amount in cases that are eligible for bail. In addition, the commissioner informs the defendant of the pending charges and the penalties of the crimes alleged against him or her. If the nature of the case does not give the commissioner the authority to set bail, the arrestee will appear before a District Court Judge within 24 hours, or the first available court date.

Summons/Citations


For some less serious crimes, the arresting officer may give the defendant a summons or a citation​ in lieu of arrest. A summons or citation immediately releases a defendant from custody and requires the defendant to appear in court for an arraignment on a specified date.