DC Criminal & DUI Defense Lawyer on Arrest Procedures

For family members and loved ones of those arrested can experience intense anxiety, fear, and stress.  First and foremost, when someone in DC gets arrested, the police will not likely give accurate information as to where they will take the person.  If the police have told you that the person will be taken to Central Cellblock, you can call and find out if that is correct.

Central Cellblock is located next to DC Superior Court at the Metropolitan Police Headquarters.

The contact information for Central Cellblock is:

300 Indiana Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20001

Phone: (202) 727-4222
Fax: (202) 727-2230

Unfortunately, the police will not permit a family member to visit a friend or loved one at Central Cellblock.  However, if you hire a DC criminal defense attorney, the police will permit the attorney to visit the arrested person.  At Scrofano Law PC, we will visit a family member and your behalf night or day on a Saturday, Sunday, or any day of the week.

As experienced criminal and DUI defense lawyers, we have seen that one of the worst experiences in the DC criminal justice system is getting arrested on a Saturday for a crime that is not eligible for citation release.

Most folks without much of a criminal record are eligible to get released from the police station with a citation to return to court.  Under that scenario, the arrestee will be held for a few hours, booked, finger-printed, processed, and ultimately released from the station.  Most misdemeanor charges are eligible for citation release.  These include DUI, DWI, and OWI as well as a number of other crimes including solicitation, simple assault, hit and run, using a fake ID, and unlawful entry.

On the other hand, no felony charges are eligible for release at the station.  If charged with a felony, the police must book the arrestee and then send them to Central Cellblock and then lockup so that judge can make a bond determination.  Unless you get arrested at 6 or 7 in the morning, you will likely spend at least a night in jail if arrested for a felony.  If arrested on a Saturday, you will likely not get released until Monday afternoon.

In addition, not all misdemeanor arrests are eligible for citation release.  Sometimes a specific misdemeanor charge will lead to getting booked through lockup.  Other times, a person’s criminal record may cause them to get booked through lockup.  If a judge signs and issues a warrant for your arrest, no matter what the charge, you must go through lockup.  The law requires you to see a judge if your arrest is the result of a judicially approved warrant.  In addition, some specific charges are not eligible for citation release.

If you are arrested for a domestic violence offense, you must go through lockup and see a judge before you can get out.  That means simple assault, unlawful entry, destruction of property, theft, threats and basically any charge if it’s a domestic violence arrest.  In addition, most gun misdemeanors including unregistered firearm and unregistered ammunition typically require an appearance before a judge—preventing release at the police station.

Finally, if a person is on probation, parole, supervised release, or has another pending criminal case in DC, they must also go through lockup.  If a friend, family member, or loved one is arrested for a criminal or DUI charge in DC, contact Scrofano Law PC today for a full case evaluation.  We can help you find your loved one and tell you when they will likely be released.