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Arrest Through Arraignment

Grounds for an Arrest

An arrest can happen with or without an arrest warrant. If a court orders a person to be arrested, then law enforcement can arrest that person at any time.

Warrantless arrests are a different matter. With a warrantless arrest, the law enforcement officer must have probable cause to believe you have committed a criminal offense. Usually, a person will be arrested without a warrant because a law enforcement officer believes she has seen that person commit a criminal offense.

Other reasons justifying a warrantless arrest include if the officer believes the person has caused injury to another or poses a risk of causing harm to another; if the officer finds the person in a suspicious place under circumstances indicating he may have committed a felony; or if the officer believes the person has violated a protective order. This, of course, is not the complete list of reasons people are usually arrested, but these are some of the more common grounds for an arrest.

Being Processed into Jail

At the Detention Center, the person who was arrested will go through a booking process. During that process, jail officials will ask for information such as the person's name, address, birth date, any medical problems, and the like. The booking officer may or may not take the person's fingerprints.


The person's personal belongings will be taken away from him and cataloged. He will get a form or a voucher with a number on it, which he can then use to reclaim his property upon release.


Any items in the person's possession that may be evidence relating to the arrest will be recorded separately, and the person likely will not get those items back. Once the person goes through this process, which may take several hours, he is considered to be in custody. 

Potter County Detention Center

When a person gets arrested, law enforcement will usually take him or her to the Potter County Detention Center, which is located at 13100 NE 29th Ave, Amarillo, TX 79111. 

Potter County has an Online Jail Roster that is updated daily.  You can also call the detention center at 806-379-2900.

Visitation privileges will be extended to all inmates confined in the Potter County Detention Center (unless revoked for disciplinary reasons)

An inmate shall be allowed to have two twenty minute in-person, non-contact visits per calendar week (a week beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday). At least one visitation period shall be during evenings.

  1. 8:30AM  to 11:30AM - Monday thru Friday

  2. 6:30PM to 9:30PM - Monday thru Friday

  3. Monday - Inmates with last name beginning with A THRU D

  4. Tuesday - Inmates with last name beginning with E THRU J

  5. Wednesday - Inmates with last name beginning with K THRU N

  6. Thursday - Inmates with last name beginning with O THRU R

  7. Friday - Inmates with last name beginning with S THRU Z


Inmates can receive money through Access Corrections Secure Deposits. Here's what you need to know to successfully send money:

1) Go to and create an account where money can be deposited for the inmate online.

2) If you have any questions, contact (866) 345-1884. Someone is available 24/7.

3) In the Detention Center Visitation Lobby, you'll find a kiosk that accepts cash, debit and credit cards.

4) In the Detention Center Visitation Lobby or the LEC, we also accept Money Orders that include the inmate's SO#.

5) The kiosk will NOT take a prepaid credit or debit card.

6) The kiosk will only accept US denominations of $5 or above and will NOT give change back.

7) The visitation officer does NOT make change or keep change in their office.

For a fee, an inmate can make a call to someone outside of the Detention Center.

Every single communication an inmate has with someone other than his attorney is monitored. Video conferences are actively watched, incoming and outgoing mail is opened and read, and all phone calls are recorded. Any incriminating statements an inmate makes while in custody at the Detention Center will likely be discovered and used against him.

The Magistrate

When a person is arrested, he must be seen by a judge, or a magistrate, within 48 hours of his arrest. The judge will meet with the person at the Detention Center. At that time, he or she will tell the person why he was arrested - which specific criminal offense he has allegedly committed - and whether there is an affidavit (a sworn statement) supporting the allegations against him.

The judge will also go over the accused person's rights. These rights include:

  • the right to representation by an attorney, either an attorney privately hired to handle the case or (if the person cannot afford to hire an attorney) an attorney appointed to handle the case; 

  • the right to remain silent;

  • the right to have an attorney present during any interviews with law enforcement; and

  • the right to an examining trial (which is a hearing establishing the reasons for the arrest).


After going through everything, the judge will set bail. Bail is money the arrested person pays to ensure that if he is released, he will show back up to court later. The bail amount is based on a variety of factors.

Bail is money the arrested person pays to secure his release. If the person pays the full bail amount upfront (called a cash bond), that money will be refunded once the case is over. If the person does not have the money to pay bail, he or his family can contact a bail bond company for help. A bonding company or bail bondsman will loan the arrested person the money to make bail, but to do so he will charge a non-refundable fee.

The Initiation of Formal Charges

The arresting officer will present the case to the District Attorney's Office, who will decide to drop the case or to pursue formal charges. Formal charges take the shape of either a Complaint (for Class C misdemeanors), an Information (for Class A or B misdemeanors), or an Indictment (for felonies).


This is the accused's initial court appearance. At arraignment, the accused will be given a copy of the complaint, information, or indictment and have the opportunity to have the charges read in open court. At this time, the court will ask the accused what his plea is to the charges. The plea can be (i) guilty; (ii) not guilty; or (iii) no contest. Many times, an attorney will advise her client to plead not guilty at arraignment so that they may conduct their own investigation of the case.

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