An officer may make an arrest for misdemeanor or felony offenses in accordance with law and established procedure. If a person believes they are being wrongfully arrested, they still have the responsibility to comply with an officer’s orders, and their right to defend their case will occur after the arrest is made. Resisting arrest can bring additional criminal charges.

Depending on the circumstances, an arrested person may be released without charges, in which case the arrest is legally only a detention, the person may be released with a notice to appear, or they may be booked into jail. Adults are booked into the Department of Corrections’ Main Jail. At jail, they may be released on their "Own Recognizance (O.R.)", released if they post bail, or held for a court appearance. Juveniles may be released to a parent, or if booked on a criminal charge, they may be taken to Juvenile Hall. Arrested persons have an assortment of rights, to include the right to make three telephone calls.

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In some cases, an officer may not affect an arrest, but will instead refer the matter to the District Attorney’s Office. If a criminal complaint is later filed, a warrant will be issued for the defendant's arrest.