Philadelphia County Jails

When a person commits a criminal offense, they run the risk of being arrested for their crime. After someone is arrested, a judge will set their bond. If a person is unable to pay their bond, or they are deemed to be a flight risk, they will remain in custody. The person will then be transferred to one of the Philadelphia County jails.

If you have been accused or arrested for a criminal offense, speak to a knowledgeable defense attorney as soon as possible. They could help you from the beginning when you are arrested and after your case closes. Reach out to a diligent attorney to learn about your rights and legal options.

The Booking Process in Philadelphia County

After someone is arrested in Philadelphia County, a preliminary arraignment is held to set bail. Some people may sign their own bond and sign out of the Philadelphia County jail. Others are released on their own recognizance. If the charges are serious or the person is deemed to be a flight risk, they are held with a bail amount that keeps them in custody. Until their bail is paid, the person goes to one of the local Philadelphia prisons.

The initial booking process takes an individual from the district where they were arrested and transports them to State Road, where they go through the intake. They are fingerprinted, and their photo is taken. The information is used to verify the individual’s identity and show that the authorities arrested the right person. They are assigned a PP number, which is a prison photo ID number, and is also known as a PID number that is used to track them through the prison system. Family members may track their relatives using the PID number assigned at the time of the arrest.

What to Expect When Taken to Jail

If someone has never been to a Philadelphia County jail, they can expect to be uncomfortable and not be moving on their own schedule. The custodial system of jail means an individual is on the prison’s schedule. They eat when the prison says it is time to eat, and they go to bed or return to their cell when the prison says it is time to go to bed.

A person should expect to experience the loss of the everyday freedom they are used to. They may need to ask the guards to use the bathroom if one is not available. They can expect their contact with the outside world is limited to letters or phone calls.

It is important that people arrested in Philadelphia know that all of their phone calls to the outside are recorded. They are better off talking to their defense lawyer because any conversation with a family member or friend about their case can be recorded and played for them in court at their trial. The district attorneys play these phone conversations where people talk about their cases.

Understanding Bond Agreements

In Philadelphia, people are given a bail amount based on two factors: the court considers whether the person is a flight risk or a danger to the community. Using those two factors and the individual’s ties to the community, the individual is assessed a bond amount.

There are various crimes, each with appropriate amounts of bail. The commissioner judges might set a bail amount that is within or above the range. For firearm cases, the bail is often above the normal bail guideline range. For example, someone has a firearm possession case, and their bail is set at $50,000. That might be above average bail for someone with a similar criminal history.

If someone is released from custody, they do not necessarily have to pay the full $50,000. They might pay 10 percent. For example, they pay $5,000 to be released on a bail of $50,000. The bail money is forfeited if the person does not appear in court on their assigned court date.

How a Defense Attorney Could Help

Following an arrest for a criminal offense, it is best to retain the services of a seasoned defense attorney. The lawyer could make a motion to lower the amount of bail when it is too high, and they can give reasons that relate to the facts of the case and their client’s specific circumstances. The lawyer may bring in references from members of the community and get the bail amount reduced to an amount the person can afford to get out of the Philadelphia County jail.

Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how an attorney could help your case.