How does a criminal defense case get filed? After being arrested, a prosecutor will read the police report detailing the circumstances of your arrest and will determine whether you should be charged with a crime. Sometimes, the prosecutor may seek out a grand jury for indictment. Finally, a judge will hold a preliminary hearing and decide whether there is enough evidence to proceed with a case.
Directly from a Criminal Defense lawyer, here’s what to expect during the arrest:
• Expect to be handcuffed.
• Expect to be read your Miranda rights. These explain your constitutional right not to answer and your right to have a lawyer appointed to you if you cannot afford to hire one.
• After hearing your Miranda rights, you may be questioned. Be respectful to the officers if you choose to participate, or let them know you’d like to speak to a lawyer before being questioned.
• You may also be searched. Your body, your car and any bags you may have. The police may look for drug paraphernalia or weapons.
• Once you’ve been arrested, you’ll be booked. Police will ask for basic information about yourself (address, birthday, phone number, etc.), and will take photographs and fingerprints. At this point, depending on the crime, you may also be asked to provide a handwriting sample or be part of a line-up.
• After the booking process, a prosecutor will decide whether or not to seek charges against you
• Next is your arraignment. The charges against you will be read in court and you’ll be asked how you plead to the crime (guilty or not guilty).
• After your arrest and before your trial, you may be able to get out of jail by posting bail. Essentially, you or a family member, pay money to the court to guarantee that you’ll appear at future court dates. A failure to do so can mean a loss of money paid.
By far, the best way to ensure that your case is being handled appropriately is by hiring a criminal defense lawyer who can help. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can not only offer some peace of mind, but will help guarantee your rights and freedom are protected. Call Brian J. Smith, criminal defense lawyer, at 702-380-8248 to talk about your case.