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How long can officers hold you in jail?

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2022 | blog, Criminal Defense

Once an officer places you under arrest, your first thoughts may include wondering when you will get out. Nobody wants to be stuck behind bars, so this is a natural question.

The answer depends on your situation. Minnesota Court Rules outline the different scenarios and how long they can keep you in jail before you have a trial and conviction or acquittal.


Sometimes, the warrant used to arrest you will specify how long you will be in jail. It will give a deadline for a court date. Often, you will have to go promptly before a judge, meaning you will go to court within the next 24 hours. The warrant will also usually say if you can get bond. If not, the judge will determine that at your first court date. You could potentially get out within 24 hours if everything goes smoothly.

Other situations

If your arrest was not due to a warrant, then you could end up leaving jail shortly after your arrest. You may get a court date or the prosecutor could drop the charges. Sometimes, you will go before a judge to get bail set. If you are in on a misdemeanor charge, you have to see a judge within 36 hours. For felonies, the rules differ. The prosecutor could file a complaint that shows probable cause to hold you in jail. If this happens, you are there until the judge makes a different decision about bail or you go to trial and get an acquittal. Otherwise, if there is no movement, they have about 48 hours to get you in front of a judge or let you go.

Every situation can vary. The prosecutor can make recommendations or ask the judge to do certain things. Because of this, there is no way to know exactly how long you will sit in jail before a release.