How to Find Out if Your Child Was Arrested in State College, PA

Fighting For Important Causes In State And Federal Courts

If your child is away at school in State College, they might not always be able to answer your calls.  Many parents understandably jump to the worst conclusions when their child goes hours or days without answering them.  Without friends, RAs, or other people to contact, you might resort to calling jails and hospitals to find out if your child is there.  Other times, parents receive calls claiming to be their child calling from jail.  It is important to confirm that the case is real to avoid being taken in by a scam.  Our criminal defense lawyer for Penn State students at The Law Office of Andrew Shubin explains how to figure out how to find out if your child was arrested in State College.

How Can I Check if My Child is in Jail in State College?

Arrest records and information about whether an individual is being held in a particular jail are all part of the public record.  That means that if you call a police station or jail, they should be able to confirm whether or not your child is there.  This is different than the answer you might get when calling a hospital or a mental health clinic.  There, even questions about whether or not that person is a patient might be turned away unless you are listed on the patient’s release forms.  With criminal arrest issues, however, you should be provided with the info you request.

Unfortunately, systems are not always up to date, and they will not always have information about an arrest that happened in the past few hours or days.  For instance, if you check the Centre County Correctional Facility’s website, you might be able to check for your child on their inmate locater, found here.  However, that system might not be up to date, so it might not provide you with the information you need.  Instead, you might need to call Central Booking in Centre County to get more up-to-date information.  You can do that by calling (814) 355-6794.

If your child has not been out of contact for too long but you still suspect that they were arrested, they could still be at a local police department.  This happens before being booked and processed at the county jail.  If they were arrested in State College, then they might be in lockup at the State College Police Department.  Their contact information can be found here.  Alternatively, if they were arrested on campus at Penn State, they might be in custody with the Penn State Campus Police.  Their contact info can be found here.

Hiring a Lawyer to Help Your Child if They’re in Jail in State College

If you do find out that your child is in jail in State College, it is important to act quickly to help them get out of jail and put the right foot forward with their case.  After an arrest, your child will have to face the charges in court, and they may ultimately end up facing a college disciplinary hearing as well.  Our defense attorney can help with both of these proceedings, working to help your child get out of jail avoid suspension or expulsion from Penn State.

To get your child out of jail in the first place, your child’s lawyer may need to fight to have bail set or reduced.  In many cases, bail will be set at some cash amount to ensure that your child returns to court.  If they don’t, they will forfeit the bail they paid.  In other cases, your child will be released on their own recognizance and trusted to return to court.  The judge will look at the defendant’s prior arrest record, previous failure to appear in court issues, and their ties to the community when making a bail decision.  If these factors show a high flight risk or your child is considered a danger to the community, bail might be denied.  Our attorney can fight to get your child bail and have it reduced so that they can afford to fight the case from outside of jail.

The actual criminal case will usually start with an arraignment where your child can enter a “not guilty” plea.  After that, the case progresses to a preliminary hearing.  If the charges are minor, such as with disorderly conduct or public drunkenness charges, the trial will occur at this early court date.  For more serious charges like drug possession charges or sexual assault charges, the case will proceed to trial after the preliminary hearing.

Throughout the case, we will work to get charges dismissed by challenging the legality charges and the evidence.  We will also work to negotiate a plea deal that might allow your child to perform community service or participate in alternative sentencing arrangements.  One popular alternative to jail is PA’s ARD program (Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition).  Arrangements like this could allow your child to have their charges dropped entirely after performing requirements, such as seeking counseling.  Alternatively, we could have charges reduced in exchange for a guilty plea.  We will work with your child every step of the way to protect their interests.

Call Our State College Criminal Defense Lawyer for College Students for Help with Your Case

If your child was arrested in State College, PA, the resources above might help you find where they are being held.  After that, you can call a local State College criminal defense attorney for college students, such as Andrew Shubin.  The Law Office of Andrew Shubin offers free legal consultations to help you understand what our services can do to help your child with their case.  For your free case consultation, call us today at (814) 826-3586.


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