CRIMINAL CASE PROCEDURE EXPLAINED

ARRESTED AND NEED A CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY

If you (or a loved one) have never been in trouble with the law and suddenly find handcuffs around your wrists and people bustling to figure out how to get you out of jail, then you understand completely the frustration of not knowing what’s happening now and/or what is going to happen next. Once arrested, you quickly discover that you are no longer in control of virtually anything. Police or sheriff’s department personnel take you from one point to another often without the courtesy of an explanation about what is going to happen, much less an explanation of what should be happening to you. I’m going to give you a quick run-down of the steps that follow an arrest for a criminal charge up to and through the trial of the case. While this part will be an overview of what you can expect, I will, in subsequent blogs, discuss in detail each phase of the process.

Criminal in handcuffs

 STEPS INVOLVED AFTER A CRIMINAL ARREST

  1. Arrest on a warrant;
  2. Book-in at the local detention facility;
  3. First Appearance hearing (must occur within 72 hours of arrest). Bond often set depending on charges;
  4. Preliminary Hearing also known as Probable Cause Hearing (another opportunity for bond to be set);
  5. Indictment/Accusation;
  6. Bond Hearing (if one could not have been held at the preliminary hearing due to jurisdictional issues). This step can occur at other phases throughout the process as well.
  7. Arraignment;
  8. Motions hearings. This includes motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence, motion to suppress statements of the defendants (often referred to as Jackson/Denno hearings), demurrers, motions to quash,  pleas in abatement (double jeopardy issues),  and innumerable other motions (optional);
  9. Trial calendar call;
  10. Trial before a judge or jury or plea to the charges without a trial;
  11. Motion for new trial (assuming a guilty verdict);
  12. Appeal of the verdict; and
  13. Habeas corpus petition and hearing on the merits (optional).

 NEED CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY TO FIND RIGHT COURSE OF ACTION

Each case is different and accordingly will take different paths through the process. Sometimes it’s in the client’s best interest to quickly plead to the charges and many jurisdictions offer a fast-tract option to get those cases resolved. When that occurs, several of the steps listed above are skipped and the defendant is quickly brought before a judge for plea and sentencing. By pleading guilty to any criminal offense, the defendant is giving up his/her rights to a trial and all rights attendant thereto.

I hope this gives you an overview of what to expect if you or a loved one are arrested. Please give me a call if you need a knowledgeable, hardworking lawyer to help you with your legal needs. 404-474-2531. Good luck with any of your legal issues!

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