How To Locate Someone Who Has Been Arrested

Written by J. Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

When someone is missing, family and friends will be quite concerned. Authorities have realized that a key element of the law must be to notify the public of the location of someone arrested. Here is how to locate someone who has been arrested.

Writ of Habeas Corpus

Under the United States Constitution "Bill of Rights" the concept of the "Writ of Habeas Corpus" was re-affirmed. The "Writ of Habeas Corpus" requires that a "Letter of Physical Custody of a Body" be published by the government stating the charges and whereabouts of citizens in its custody.

When a police officer arrests a man or woman, an arrest report is created. Since most squad cars have computers, this information can be sent directly to the station.

At the police station, the accused will go through booking, which entails collection of name, address, initial charges, fingerprinting, priors and a mug shot. After booking, the accused will be officially taking into custody at a jail. Once booked and taken into custody, the individual will be logged into the prison system database.

From the point of arrest, the government has 24 to 48 hours to bring the accused before a judge and file formal charges. For minor offenses, bail is set at the time of arrest, for felonies, the judge might set bail.

A concerned family member can visit the local government website to look for the person by name and address under Arrests and Bail. Someone will know the exact date and time of booking in the city, county or state jail. At the preliminary hearing, the government must bring the accused before a judge and make formal charges.

Check with a Bail Bondsman

If all else fails, check with a local bail bondsman; they know the ins-and-outs of the system. Many of these shops are open 24/7/365 and located near the jail house. It is their job to collect bail money to allow people to leave the jail as quickly as possible.

For minor offenses, once booked into the jail system, the accused can bail out by offering a bond to guarantee his return for hearings and trial. Under the law, someone should not be punished with jail time before he is legally convicted of a crime.

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