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Will I be Arraigned Before I Am Released From Jail?

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

No. However, you will have a legal proceeding if you do not get what we loosely call a Booking Officer Bond. Now, if your arrest is in a county like Escambia, your odds of getting an arresting officer or booking officer bond or criminal summons by the arresting officer is more likely than in other counties simply because the sheriff had notified the county commissioners that the jail was at risk of a serious incident, yet they did nothing. We had a major flood a couple of years ago, the water got into the basement, it caused an explosion and yes, the negligent of the Escambia County Board of County Commissioners is directly responsible for them blowing up the Escambia County jail and now inmates are housed in the jail over near Milton and Santa Rosa County, they are housed in Crestview, in Okaloosa County, they are housed just outside of Defuniak Spring and Walton County and I believe some are still being handled over in Panama City in Bay County at a tremendous cost of the taxpayers.

For people in Escambia County, you may not have that erring in the jail, it’s not going to be an arraignment by the way. Now, for other cases in Escambia and for the rest of Florida that hasn’t managed to blow their jails up, there is a proceeding that happens in jail is known as First Appearance. Usually, not always, but usually first appearance is done by a video where you see a judge’s face on a television screen and what you don’t see is on the other side of that television screen is a video courtroom usually with the long table that comes out from where the judge’s desk is and there will be people sitting all around in there and they will range from a deputy clerk to an assistant state attorney, there may be an assistant public defender there or they may be at the jail.

Pre-trial release services will probably be there with one of their representatives and there will be other people as well. The judge will have reviewed everybody’s arrest packet for the first appearance proceeding and then it’ll go really quickly and people will either be in a group and stand at a podium such as how they do it in Santa Rosa County at the jail or they’ll have it done like in Crestview where they take people one-by-one, actually they align them up as a group and then one-by-one, they stand in front of one-half of the doors, one of those double doors where it looks like it’s been sawed in half and varnished over, well the bottom part is locked, the top part is open, there is little room on the other side of the door and then there is a television screen where the judge appears. One-by-one, people stand in front of the door and speak to the judge and judge does most of the speaking to them. This is what happens in the jail. Arraignment usually does not happen until several weeks later and that’s done at the regular courthouse and is not done in the jail.

Some judges in smaller counties in particular on the weekends will actually go to the jail rather than go to the courthouse. For example, in Walton County, it’s somewhat legendary that circuit judge is going to show up to first appearance during hunting season in his hunting gear and literally do first appearance wearing camouflage at the jail. Now, he’s done it more than once and I can assure you this happens in other small counties across the state as well.

Disclaimer: This article is in response to questions frequently asked of Mr. Cobb and is an unedited dictation transcript. Just like talk to text on your smartphone, there may be misspelled words or sentence fragments.

For more information on Arraignment Before Release From Jail, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (850) 466-1522 today.