Getting arrested can be a frightening experience, if you don’t know what to expect or who to call, it can leave you feeling powerless. If you get arrested, the following information should give you a basic understanding of what will happen. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
An Overview Of The Arrest Process
Certain arrests might look a little bit different than others, but the main process is typically the same. For some less serious/lighter penalty crimes (criminal traffic and non-violent misdemeanors offenses), you may be given a Notice to Appear. It looks like a citation, but it requires your presence in Court once you receive notice of the hearing in the mail. While not a physical arrest, this is technically an arrest.
For other misdemeanors and all felonies, you will be physically detained and placed under arrest. You may be brought to the police station or directly to the jail for processing which is when you will be told what charges you are facing, be photographed and fingerprinted.
Depending on the type of charge you receive, you may be entitled to a bond, may be required to appear before a judge, or may be held no bond if charged with a non-bondable offense or probation violation.
When To Call A Lawyer
Hiring a lawyer as soon as practicable after initial police contact can make a difference in your case. Here is why contacting an attorney early on makes a difference:
- An attorney can begin working on your case right away, even while you are still being processed. By retaining their services immediately, you are saving valuable time and could potentially be released sooner due to their help.
- Some criminal charges can be dense and complicated, so consulting with an attorney will help you to understand what exactly you’ve been arrested for, what kind of sentence to expect should you be found guilty, and how the criminal justice process works.
- Your defense case will be more robust when an attorney has as much time as possible to devote to it. In Florida there is, at least, a 21 day delay between arrest and the first time you will appear in court for your arraignment. During that time, a lawyer can be reviewing, investigating and negotiating with the prosecutor to file no charges or file less serious charges.
You don’t have to go through an arrest alone. It can be intimidating, especially if you’re innocent, so make sure to contact legal help right away. Remember, that you always have the right to request a lawyer prior to any questioning by law enforcement. While you may not necessarily qualify for court appointed counsel, you will always have the right to hire your choice of counsel. If you have been arrested, call the Law Offices of Sabrina Puglisi immediately and let our experience work for you.