Intake Hold Charge Meaning

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Over 400,000 people spend time in jail, even before being sentenced and convicted. One contributing factor to the increasing number of pretrial detainees is intake hold charges that keep people in prison beyond an expected release date.

What is an intake hold charge, and how does it affect a prisoner’s chance of being released?

This article discusses intake holds, how they work, and their effects on prisoners. It also talks about out-of-state warrants and how states cooperate in dealing with state-crossing criminals.

Furthermore, this article explains the booking and arraignment phase and how prison holds can affect this initial phase of criminal litigation.

Being detained in prison or jail longer than expected is frustrating and stressful. However, the only way to power through this problem is to learn about the legal process involved in these state law technicalities.

During this situation, family members can support their loved ones detained by prison holds by being present in their time of need. You can keep in touch with an incarcerated loved one by getting the contact information of the jail or prison where they’re being held.

Visit to access the contact details for over 7,000 correctional facilities nationwide. Our website also has an inmate locator, where one can search for an inmate incarcerated in jails and detention centers in the United States.

What Does a Hold Mean in Jail or Prison?

A hold is a notice to a correctional facility to delay an inmate’s release, even if they’ve posted bail or fully served their sentence.

The usual reasons for an inmate to have a prison hold include having an arrest warrant from another state or a pending criminal charge in another jurisdiction. The inmate must resolve these outstanding warrants and charges before being allowed prison release.

What Does Intake Hold Charge Mean?

An intake hold charge is a criminal charge against an inmate that delays and prevents a release. Inmates get an intake hold if they have a more severe criminal case to face other than what they’re incarcerated for.

The intake hold ensures that the inmate faces the additional charges and does not flee. Even if the inmate posts bail or if they served the entire sentence, the intake hold prevents an inmate’s release.

What Does “No Active Holds” Mean?

An inmate with “no active holds” means the person has no other outstanding warrants, criminal charges, or detainers.

A detainer is a notice to law enforcement officers that a prisoner has other pending charges that need resolution before allowing release via bail or after completion of a sentence term. A prisoner with “no active holds” can be released once applicable.

What Is a Hold Agency?

A holding agency is any federal or state agency with accountability over an inmate kept under hold. A holding agency ensures that the inmate is under their custody throughout the hold order.

What Is Release Hold per Agency?

A release hold per agency means an inmate has a criminal charge or an outstanding arrest warrant in another jurisdiction or state.

As mentioned above, states have different jurisdictions, and law enforcement from one state can’t just enter another state and arrest anyone without proper coordination.

A hold tells the arresting agency, in this case, the jail or prison, that a particular inmate should not be set free because of another warrant. The jail will notify the demanding state to pick up the inmate if they posted bail or have completed their sentence.

How Long Can Someone Be Held in Jail for a Warrant From Another State?

With a warrant, a detention facility, like a county jail, can hold a person from another state for 30 days. The state that issued the warrant may cooperate with the county jail to pick up the offender through extradition.

The mechanics of extradition between states are similar to those of other countries. Simply put, one state formally requests the custody of a “person of interest” from another state who has that person in their custody.

States have specific jurisdictions, which is their “area of responsibility.” A state must cooperate with another state when interstate law enforcement is involved, especially against fugitives “state hopping” to escape the law.

What Steps Can a Prisoner Take to Address a Class C Misdemeanor Warrant Issued?

It’s best to seek legal advice from a competent criminal defense attorney immediately when faced with an arrest. Legal experts can help you understand that a class C misdemeanor is one of the least serious offenses in a state’s criminal law.

Class C misdemeanors include disorderly conduct, simple assault, and possession of marijuana under 2.5g in certain states.

When a prisoner, while incarcerated, gets another warrant for another case, an attorney can make “deals” with the county or state that issued the warrant.

However, before an attorney confronts the demanding county or state, the prisoner must decide whether they wish to enter their plea.

How Can Prisoners Secure Their Release From Jail After Being Arrested for a Felony or a Misdemeanor (Excluding Class C Misdemeanors)?

The methods to secure release from jail depend on which part of the litigation process a prisoner is in. During the initial arrest and the period before the trial, the inmate can seek the help of a lawyer to post bail or bonds.

Bail is the required amount of money specified by state law or the judge to secure a temporary release before a court date.

In situations where defendants can’t pay the bail amount, they or their families can seek the help of a bail bonds agent, who will post the bond in full in exchange for a nonrefundable fee.

What Options Does a Prisoner Have to Resolve a Class C Misdemeanor Warrant Issued by a Different City?

The foremost option a prisoner has is to get the services of a criminal defense attorney. These legal experts can help handle your out-of-state warrants while incarcerated.

Warrants from other cities or counties can be problematic for inmates, especially when nearing a release date, posting bail, or accessing prison programs and privileges. So, it’s crucial to have legal experts to guide inmates and their families through the litigation.

Where Can Prisoners Released From Jail Be Picked Up?

When a prisoner is released from jail, either through posting bail or completing a sentence, family members can pick them up at the detention facility.

The pick-up process becomes complicated when the prisoner has been transferred to a federal facility or state prison. Some federal prisoners ready for release are sent to a halfway house, where they’ll spend the remainder of their sentence until the release date.

When Are Prisoners Arraigned?

An arraignment is a hearing where the accused formally hears their charges and enters a plea. This initial hearing happens the same day of the arrest or the following day.

During the arraignment, the judge will determine whether the accused is detained in jail or set free through bail or own recognizance (OR). An OR is a written promise by the accused to appear in court in exchange for release without paying bail.

What Occurs During an Arraignment?

An arraignment starts after an arrest. It’s part of the initial phase of the litigation of someone accused of a crime. At the start of the arraignment, the judge reads the charges filed against the accused and allows them to enter their plea.

In an arraignment, the defendant can plead guilty or not guilty. If the person pleads guilty, the judge orders a sentence, and the litigation ends. However, if the defendant pleads not guilty, the case moves forward to a trial.

If the defendant has no attorney and can’t afford one, the state provides the defendant with a public defender. Also, during the arraignment, the defendant and prosecution can enter a plea bargain or an agreement to accept guilt in exchange for a lesser charge.

What Is an Alias Warrant?

An alias warrant is issued when the defendant fails to appear on a specific court date before entering a plea. This warrant is also issued when the accused doesn’t respond or fails to respond to a citation in person or by mail.

What Is a Capias Warrant?

A capias warrant is similar to a bench warrant, which is a court order to arrest someone to ensure they appear in a trial.

A capias warrant may be issued to someone who commited a parole violation, a defendant with an extradition case, or someone who fails to pay a fine or complete a specific condition within a particular period.

Intake Information

The U.S. criminal justice system, the state’s Department of Corrections, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons follow the fundamental constitutional doctrine called “due process.”

Due process ensures that the government follows a lawful and fair process before depriving anyone of their life and liberty. It’s one of the cornerstones of the justice system in democracies, including the United States.

The criminal justice process starts with the arrest of a suspect by an arresting officer (a police officer, a county sheriff, or an officer under a sheriff’s department). Once the arrestee is in jail, the booking process starts.

In the booking process, the local law enforcement officer first conducts a “pat-down” to check for weapons and other dangerous items that the offender may have.

Afterward, the police enter the offender’s information, fingerprints, and mugshots into an online criminal records database.

Jail authorities will confiscate the offender’s personal property before they are placed in a holding cell. The offender can use a telephone call when arrested. They are then jailed and await the arraignment date.

During an arraignment, the charges are read to the defendant before entering their plea. The judge then decides the next course of action depending on the plea and the severity of the criminal case.

If the judge decides the defendant should be detained throughout the hearing, the person is jailed.

Suppose the judge allows temporary release via bail. In that case, the defendant or their family members can pay the amount and secure the offender’s release.

The defendant now has time to consult a lawyer and build a defense for the eventual court hearing.


1. How can you find out if someone is in jail?

You can use an online inmate locator like to find a person in jail. Our website is a database of over 7,000 correctional facilities. You must input the inmate’s full name and the Department of Corrections number to start your search.

2. When is jail open?

In most cases, even in different states, jails are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyone needing law enforcement assistance can visit their sheriff’s office, call the jail’s phone number, ask for help, or report an incident requiring police action.

3. Where is the county jail?

Though the location may differ in other counties, in places like Texas, the county jail is at the county seat unless the county has one jail only. If so, jails can be located anywhere in the county.

4. What does it mean when a person is “booked” into jail?

A booking is when a police officer takes the arrestee’s information and enters it into the system. The booking is part of the initial phase of criminal litigation.

5. What is “jail credit”?

A jail credit refers to the time spent by a defendant in jail or any correctional facility while awaiting trial and sentencing. Another term for jail credit is “credit for time served.”

The time spent in prison during litigation is deducted from the defendant’s final sentence once convicted.

6. Is jail credit applied to all arrests?

The jail or time credit is only applied to reduce the final sentence term of a convicted defendant and not at the time of the arrest.

The time in jail during the entire litigation, from arrest to booking, is calculated and deducted from the sentence. However, no jail credit is earned if the time spent in jail is because of another crime.

7. When can you visit a prisoner?

Prison facilities have specific visiting hours during weekdays and weekends. However, many family members prefer visiting their loved one behind bars on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

8. What are the visitation requirements?

Prison facilities have visitation requirements for family members who want to get in touch with their loved ones behind bars. Visitors must be of legal age and have valid identification like a driver’s license or any legal I.D. with the visitor’s full name and date of birth.

9. How can you pay for a prisoner’s class C charges while they are incarcerated?

If someone you love is behind bars for misdemeanors and you want to pay for the fines, you can use cash, credit, or debit cards. In Texas, you can pay fines at the municipal court. Alternatively, the municipality’s police department can collect fines via money orders.

10. What items can you bring a prisoner?

Prison facilities have their list of contraband that visitors are prohibited from bringing. You can’t bring cash, cell phones, and medication inside prison. However, you can purchase an inmate’s food and medicine from the prison commissary.

11. How can you get a prisoner’s property?

Upon arrest, a defendant can ask a family member to pick up their property instead of leaving it confiscated by the arresting agency. The family member must provide valid identification before being given the inmate’s property.

12. Can a prisoner make free phone calls?

Immediately after an arrest, the accused can use a free telephone call courtesy of the jail. In most jails, an accused has one free phone call. In select counties, the number of calls may be more.

13. Do city employees typically suggest a bail bond company or an attorney?

A bail bond company pays the bail for a defendant who can’t afford it in exchange for a nonrefundable fee. However, some courts allow defendants to pay a portion of the bail (usually 10%) to secure a release, making the bail bond company obsolete.

14. Where are impounded vehicles stored?

Any vehicle involved in a criminal case may be impounded at the municipality police department. In Ohio, law enforcement stores non-evidential vehicles in a locked fence near a municipal water treatment plant. Note that the impoundment area may differ in other states.

15. How do you get information on a prisoner transferred to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement)?

You can check people detained in an ICE facility through an online detainee locator system or ODLS.

This online detainee locator helps people search for their loved ones whom immigration officials might have detained due to violations. When you use ODLS, you’ll need the exact spelling of the detainee’s name, birth date, and alien registration number.

16. Does the Police Department take fingerprints for the public?

The police department takes fingerprints not specifically for the public but to make criminal records easy to access. Using fingerprints is one of the popular biometric methods to identify individuals because of their uniqueness and unchanging nature.

Upon an inmate’s arrest, their fingerprint impression is recorded and uploaded into various online databases where criminal records are stored. An example of an online database is the Automatic Fingerprint Identification System or AFIS.


  1. Pretrial Detention
  2. Hold Order [Prison Law] Law and Legal Definition
  3. Extradition Between States: Law and Process—state-to-state-extradition-process.html
  4. How Courts Work
  5. Bail, Bonds, and Relevant Legal Concerns
  6. Initial Hearing / Arraignment
  7. Own recognizance (OR)
  8. Plea Bargain
  9. Warrant Types
  10. What is a Capias Warrant?
  11. Booking
  12. General Visiting Information

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