Learning that a loved one has been arrested is a painful and stressful experience. Uncertainty and lack of information about the process only makes things more difficult. The arrest process is complex; there are exceptions to every rule. But the following information can help guide you through the process. A more detailed explanation of the arrest process is available at What to Expect if You Are Arrested.
People arrested by the NYPD are taken for initial processing to the precinct in which the arrest occurred. Within 4 to 6 hours they are then taken for further processing to Central Booking, located at the criminal court in the county of arrest. Once all processing and paperwork is complete, they await an appearance before a judge, called an arraignment. Arraignment usually happens within 24 hours of the arrest, and will probably be the first time you will be able to see your friend or loved-one following an arrest.
The New York City arraignment courts operate seven days a week, in two shifts: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Additionally, there are four overnight shifts Wednesday through Saturday in Manhattan from 1:00a.m. to 9:00a.m.
The following is a how-to for finding the specific information about where and when someone will be arraigned, including a borough-by-borough listing of the phone numbers and locations of the court houses, and subway and bus information for each county's criminal court (for more travel information and directions call the NYC Transit Information Line (718) 330-1234):
If you are unable to get through to the Arraignment Clerk, you can go directly to the courthouse and consult the list of names of people awaiting arraignment, posted outside the Arraignment Clerk's Office. The name usually appears on the list a few hours before the person sees the judge. The list will tell you which courtroom has the case if there is more than one.