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How long can law enforcement hold you after an arrest?

Getting arrested is upsetting regardless of the circumstances. One thing that you are sure to think about if you get arrested in Virginia is when you will get out. Fiction leads us to believe that law enforcement can only hold you for 24 hours before they must charge you with a crime or allow you in front of a judge to get bond. This is not accurate. Like many things in the movies, books and television shows, this is another creative license taken by writers.

Absolute Bail Bonds explains that the time period for which you can be held in jail without being charged or offered bond is up to 72 hours. If the prosecutor does not charge you with a crime during this time, law enforcement must let you go. Otherwise, if the prosecutor does charge you, you will go in front of a judge and get the chance at bond. Do note that the 72-hour time limit excludes weekends and holidays, so it is possible to spend five days in jail if you get arrested late on a Friday that has a holiday the following Monday.

The time limit on how long law enforcement can hold you is based on your right to a speedy trial. This is a basic legal right that every American has. Typically, you can speed things up by contacting an attorney, but it may be difficult to get one because you may not have access to a phone. You may just have to sit out the 72 hours. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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Springfield, VA 22150

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