Knowing that someone you love has been arrested is traumatic. Even worse is not knowing and wondering where they are. If someone in your life may have been arrested for DUI in Los Angeles, it is possible to find out for sure—and locate where they’re being held. However, it takes both time and patience.
For general custody related questions and help with inmate location, call (213) 473-6100.
To know who to call, It’s important to understand the timeline of an arrest:
- In the first few hours after the arrest, it is possible that no information will be available at all.
- For 1-3 days after the arrest, they will likely be held in a small local jail by either the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD), the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), or the local police of your town or area.
- Within 3 days they will be “arraigned” (given a court hearing). After the arraignment they may be allowed to go free, or they may be required to post bail. If they cannot post bail they will be transferred to a difference facility and held there until their trial (or until you post bail).
That means the right person to call depends on who arrested them and how long it’s been since the arrest.
How to Find an Inmate in the First 3 Days Since Their Arrest
The agency who is holding your loved one will depend on where they were arrested, not where they live:
- In the City of Los Angeles. You can call 213-473-6100 any time, 24 hours a day. This number works for both LAPD arrests and LASD arrests. You will need to provide the full legal name of the person in order to get information. If you have their full name, you can find out if they were arrested and where they’re being held—and how to contact them.
- Other cities and townships. If the city is within Los Angeles County, it’s possible that the LASD carried out the arrest. In that case you can still call the same number, 213-473-6100 (it’s often worth trying this number first “just in case”). If LASD did not do the arrest, however, you will need to look up the number of the local police department and call them directly.
- The LASD also offers an online lookup. Simply click hereand enter the information.
Last, be aware that DUI arrests are different from many other offenses because so many of them are carried out by the California Highway Patrol (CHP). If it has been more than 2 hours since the arrest and you can’t find your loved one at any of the numbers above, you could try calling the CHP station nearest to the arrest and asking them. You can find local CHP stations here.
Note: Information often isn’t available in the first 2 hours after an arrest. Sometimes it takes even longer. Don’t panic. One way to help stay calm while you wait for information is to start educating yourself on the legal process. You can learn about the jail and arraignment process, how bail works, and how soon to get a lawyer.
What if it’s been more than a day or two?
Sometimes you don’t find out that a loved one has been arrested until a day (or more) since it happened. In that case:
- It’s still worth trying the numbers above. Your loved one may still be with the agency that originally booked them, especially in the first two days.
- Get any information you can. If a friend or relative saw the arrest, they may be able to tell you which agency was involved or the city/neighborhood where it happened. This information is helpful to tracking your loved one down.
- Your loved one may come home. Most arraignments happen within 2 days of arrest, but we have seen it take up to 3 days. After the arraignment, there is a possibility that your loved one will be released on “O.R.” (without bail). In some cases they may even walk in the door while you are still trying to locate them.
However, if bail is required, your loved one will be transferred to a new facility after their arraignment. They will be held there until they can pay bail or until their trial. Currently all of these facilities are managed by the Sheriff’s Department and you can still find your loved on online or by calling 213-473-6100.
Talk to a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer for Free
Your family needs a lawyer as soon as possible after the arrest. A DUI lawyer can help you find your loved one, get them out of jail, fight to keep their license and potentially win their case. Let us get you a FREE consultation with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 896-2724 and get your free consultation today.