Were you or someone you know recently charged with a criminal case? If the answer is yes, learning the steps before the arraignment is essential. The first recourse you need to take is to contact a criminal defense attorney in West Palm Beach. Having a lawyer by your side the moment you’re charged with an offense can make all the difference. For instance, your lawyer can prevent you from saying things that will make your case worst.
Crucial Steps before Arraignment
Arrest and Notices to Appear
A criminal case can start in various ways. However, the most common is when an accused gets apprehended by a police officer. Aside from this, a criminal case may also start with you receiving a Notice to Appear. In legal parlance, an arrest happens when a police officer has personal knowledge of the crime or an investigation leads to a probable cause that a crime is afoot.
Sometimes, criminal charges will be filed by a State Attorney without any contribution from a police officer. This is the time when you will receive a Notice to Appear. If you happen to receive the notice and neglected to appear in court as indicated, the court will have no choice but to issue a warrant of arrest.
Booking and First Appearance
After you get arrested, the apprehending officer will take you to the county jail or central booking building. In this place, your photo will be taken, belongings or possessions will be inventoried, and the authorized personnel will process you into the facility.
If you can’t file bail or lost your right to bail, the judge assigned to your case can still review your bond within 24 hours from arrest—this is called the First Appearance or Advisory. At this stage, the judge can either increase or decrease the amount set for your bond. The decision will depend upon the gravity of the case charged and your capacity to pay the bond.
Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney in West Palm Beach
If you’re charged with a criminal offense, it’s always a good idea to know the process so you can intelligently decide on what to do. See to it that you follow the advice of your criminal defense attorney to hasten your case.