How long can you be held in jail without having bond or a court date set?

One of my very close friends recently was arrested. They said that he would appear in court today. He has no bond, but today they did not take him to court. We tried calling the jail and the courthouse and they're all being very sketchy saying maybe he would appear at the second court they had scheduled for today. They won't tell him anything. They've kept him in a solitary cell for over 2 weeks now, haven't set bond, his telephone is broken and they won't let him use another one. I guess what i'm asking is, is this legal? should we get a lawyer? (by the way his crime isn't serious and we live in tennessee if that makes a difference.)

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Under the "Riverside" decision from the U.S. Supreme Court a probable cause determination must be made by a magistrate within 48 hours. This can be nothing more than a reading of police reports and signing off on the probable cause. In Wisconsin by statute the person must have a personal appearance before a judge within 72 hours. If your friend has been held for two weeks without a court appearance he should find a lawyer to file a habeas corpus petition (a proceeding that challenges the legality of imprisonment).

  • 1 decade ago

    Usually, a person under arrest has to go in front of a judge within 72 hours. I don't know of any way he can be held for 2 weeks without being charged.

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