Arrest FAQ

Who can I call to find out if someone is in jail?
You may call the Kent County Correctional Facility at 632-6300.  Individuals may also access this information via the internet at
How do I post bail for someone?

Individuals wishing to post bail for someone incarcerated at the Kent County Jail may do so in person at 703 Ball Avenue NE, Grand Rapids, MI.  Bail can be posted any day of the year and any time of the day.  Bail can be paid by cash, credit card or cashier check.  A cashier’s check must be made out in the exact amount of the bail, as the jail cannot provide change.  No personal checks are accepted and the person posting bail must provide positive identification.

Be aware that individuals who are intoxicated and arrested for an alcohol related traffic offense will not be eligible for bail until their level of intoxication has diminished to a point where it is safe to release them from jail.  Others, charged with serious crimes, may not be eligible for bail.

Do they have to advise me of my "rights" when I'm arrested?

Simply put, police officers must advise individuals of their right against self incrimination if the following circumstances exist:

          (a)  The person has been taken into custody, and

          (b)  Questions having the potential to incriminate that person will be asked.

The police must advise individuals of their right against self-incrimination whenever the person is subjected to custodial interrogation.  Custodial interrogation has been defined to mean any “questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.”  This is not to say that the police are forbidden from asking any questions of a person who has been placed in custody.  For example, the police may lawfully solicit personal information (name, date of birth, height, weight, etc.)  from a person that has been taken into custody.

Can the police search me/my car/my house without a warrant?

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that, generally, the police may not legally search without having first obtained a search warrant or arrest warrant.  The law does allow for searches without a warrant if the search is to be conducted within the parameters of the following specifically established and well-defined exceptions:

(1)     The police may search an individual who has been arrested and the immediate area.

(2)     The police may search if probable cause to do so has been established and circumstances are such that an attempt to obtain a search warrant could result in the destruction of life, property or evidence.

(3)     When the police are lawfully present and there is probable cause to believe certain items (in plain view) are contraband or incriminating evidence.

(4)     The police may conduct a “pat down” search of an individual if they have an articulable and objectively reasonable belief that an individual is potentially dangerous.

(5)     When a person, who has the authority to do so, has given consent to the search.

(6)     When the search is for the purpose of inventorying items that have lawfully been taken into police custody.

(7)     Administrative searches may be conducted without a warrant.  These searches are conducted to aid in the enforcement of laws prescribing standards for commercial premises.

(8)     U.S. Customs and immigration officials may legally search you and/or your vehicle at a United States border.

(9)     Police may enter a premise without a warrant when they are in “hot pursuit” of an individual(s) suspected of having committed certain specific crimes.

(10)    Police may enter a premise without a warrant when a true emergency exists, such as fire, or potential loss of life or limb.

(11)    With an arrest warrant for a named person, officers may enter a third-party’s home to search for that person.

If you believe that the police do not possess proper authority and you deny consent to search, it is advisable to not physically resist a search that they may then conduct, except to verbally register your objection.  You may bring your complaint regarding the search later through many different paths.  We hope you will first make any complaint to the officer’s supervisor so that your concern can be promptly addressed.