©2019 by Lubbock Private Defenders Office.

Information for Clients

Arrest Through Arraignment

Grounds for an Arrest

An arrest can happen with or without an arrest warrant. If a court orders a person to be arrested, then law enforcement can arrest that person at any time.

Warrantless arrests are a different matter. With a warrantless arrest, the law enforcement officer must have probable cause to believe you have committed a criminal offense. Usually, a person will be arrested without a warrant because a law enforcement officer believes she has seen that person commit a criminal offense.

Other reasons justifying a warrantless arrest include if the officer believes the person has caused injury to another or poses a risk of causing harm to another; if the officer finds the person in a suspicious place under circumstances indicating he may have committed a felony; or if the officer believes the person has violated a protective order. This, of course, is not the complete list of reasons people are usually arrested, but these are some of the more common grounds for an arrest.

Being Processed Into Jail

At the Detention Center, the person who was arrested will go through a booking-in process. During that process, jail officials will ask for information such as the person's name, address, birth date, any medical problems, and the like. The booking-in officer may or may not take the person's fingerprints.


During this process, the person's personal belongings will be taken away from him and cataloged. He will get a form or a voucher with a number on it, which he can then use to reclaim his property upon release.


Any items in the person's possession that may be evidence relating to the arrest will be recorded separately, and the person likely will not get those items back. Once the person goes through this process, which may take several hours, he is considered to be in custody. 

Lubbock County Detention Center

When a person gets arrested, law enforcement will usually take him or her to the Lubbock County Detention Center, which is located at 3502 North Holly Avenue. The detention center has a capacity of a little over 1,500 beds. It is set up in "clusters," which are each broken down into "pods."


Lubbock County has an Online Jail Roster that is updated daily. You can also call the Detention Center at 806-775-7009 for inmate information.

Visitors can speak with an inmate at the Detention Center over a video conferencing system. Visitation is usually open 7 days a week from 8:00 am to 9:30 pm, with the last check-in for visitation being 9:00 pm. A person can visit an inmate one time per day in a timed visit that lasts 20 minutes.

You can also send mail to an inmate at the Detention Center, addressed as follows:

Inmate's First and Last Name

Inmate's SO Number

P.O. Box 10535

Lubbock, Texas 79408

For a fee, an inmate can make a call to someone outside of the Detention Center.

Every single communication an inmate has with someone other than his attorney is monitored. Video conferences are actively watched, incoming and outgoing mail is opened and read, and all phone calls are recorded. Any incriminating statements an inmate makes while in custody at the Detention Center will likely be discovered and used against him.

The Magistrate

When a person is arrested, he must be seen by a judge, or a magistrate, within 48 hours of his arrest. The judge will meet with the person at the Detention Center. At that time, he or she will tell the person why he was arrested - which specific criminal offense he has allegedly committed - and whether there is an affidavit (a sworn statement) supporting the allegations against him.

The judge will also go over the accused person's rights. These rights include:

  • the right to representation by an attorney, either an attorney privately hired to handle the case or (if the person cannot afford to hire an attorney) an attorney appointed to handle the case; 

  • the right to remain silent;

  • the right to have an attorney present during any interviews with law enforcement; and

  • the right to an examining trial (which is a hearing establishing the reasons for the arrest).

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After going through everything, the judge will set bail. Bail is money the arrested person pays to ensure that if he is released, he will show back up to court later. The bail amount is based on a variety of factors.

Bail is money the arrested person pays to secure his release. If the person pays the full bail amount upfront (called a cash bond), that money will be refunded once the case is over. If the person does not have the money to pay bail, he or his family can contact a bail bond company for help. A bonding company or bail bondsman will loan the arrested person the money to make bail, but to do so he will charge a non-refundable fee.

The Initiation of Formal Charges

The arresting officer will present the case to the District Attorney's Office, who will decide to drop the case or to pursue formal charges. Formal charges take the shape of either a Complaint (for Class C misdemeanors), an Information (for Class A or B misdemeanors), or an Indictment (for felonies).

Arraignment

This is the accused's initial court appearance. At arraignment, the accused will be given a copy of the complaint, information, or indictment and have the opportunity to have the charges read in open court. At this time, the court will ask the accused what his plea is to the charges. The plea can be (i) guilty; (ii) not guilty; or (iii) no contest. Many times, an attorney will advise her client to plead not guilty at arraignment so that they may conduct their own investigation of the case.

 

Qualifying for an Appointed Attorney

There are 2 considerations relevant to whether the accused qualifies for an appointed attorney: (1) the nature of his case and (2) his finances.

The Nature of the Case

Not all cases are eligible for an appointed attorney. In order to qualify for an appointed attorney, the charges must be either a felony or misdemeanor which could result in imprisonment if the accused is convicted. If it is a fine-only offense, the accused will not qualify for an appointed attorney.

The Accused's Finances

If the accused cannot afford to pay an attorney, he is considered indigent and may ask for an attorney to be appointed to his case. 


In determining whether the accused is indigent, the court will consider a variety of financial information about the person, including the person's income, assets, outstanding monetary obligations, necessary monthly expenses, the number and ages of any dependents, and spousal income that is available to him.


After the court determines the accused is charged with a qualifying offense and that he is indigent, he will have an attorney appointed to his case.

 

Please note:

This site is meant to provide very broad, general information for our clients and their families. Do not interpret anything on this page as legal advice. Every case is different, so the information contained on this site may or may not be applicable to you. If you have any questions about something regarding the case of you or your loved one, you need to talk to that person's attorney.