If you have been arrested, you need to make sure you understand the criminal charges brought against you. Do not try to argue with police officers during the arrest process because it can bring further charges against you like resisting arrest. Ensure you are compliant and honest and then focus on what should you do after you've been arrested. Contact Touma Law Group today and speak to Adam Touma, a skilled Greenville criminal defense attorney, for a consultation.
Consult with a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Whether you decide to have a public defender appointed or hire your own, consulting with one is a wise decision to make. They will be able to give you legal advice on your case. Criminal lawyers have knowledge that goes beyond most of the population's general understanding of the law. Your lawyer will want to know what the alleged crime is so they can give you the legal answers you'll need once your court date approaches. They'll also make sure you're taking the most proactive approach during your case that way you're the most prepared you can be.
If you hire an attorney right away, they might help you make the best decisions that will benefit you the most. A good lawyer knows whether an arrested person will be released without bail because they won't get credit for time served. If the lawyer thinks that bail is the best option, he/she might suggest that the defendant get bailed out. This gives you plenty of time to talk with your attorney so they can gather all the facts of the case to prepare your defense. In some instances, they may find ways to have your case thrown out.
It is your constitutional right to have an attorney to defend you. It is highly recommended to consult with an attorney regardless of if you plan to hire one or not. They will be able to explain the facts of the case and help you better understand what is ahead of you as time goes by. Consulting with an attorney is free and can only be of benefit to you. It will ensure that you won't be going in blindly to trial for the charges brought against you.
In most cases, you will be granted post-bond unless you have a more serious charge like possibly a felony charge. The bail bond process also depends on what type of bond you post. Here is a list of the different types of bonds posted:
- Cash Bond
- Personal Bond
- Personal Surety Bond
- Bond Without Surety
- Monetary Bond
Now just because you post bond doesn't mean you're free to just go off and go about your everyday life. There are restrictions that come with it. This will be a stressful time for you because you will want to make sure you follow the rules given to you or you may add on additional charges. You more than likely won't be allowed to leave the state and in some instances the county.
You don't want to add to the initial charges you racked up during your arrest. It wouldn't be an ideal situation to add possibly more jail time for not following the rules appointed to you by the county because then you'll have an arrest warrant out in your name.
Build a Strong Defense
You must remember no matter what the current charges brought against you are, you are innocent until proven guilty. It doesn't matter if it's a drug charge or in more serious cases like murder charges, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. It's the prosecution's job to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In some cases, if you know there is an incredible amount of evidence stacked against you, the prosecution may make plea offers to you that can result in a reduction of charges.
In the event that the evidence is not overwhelming against you, you'll want the help of reliable lawyers to defend your case. Here is a list of things you can do to build a strong defense:
- Find Alibis- Prove you were somewhere else at the time of the crime
- Character Witnesses- Someone who knows you well and can testify on behalf of your character
- Criminal Attorneys- Do not try to represent yourself in court, you more than likely don't know the law like someone who has studied it for years
Ensuring that you have a strong defense can result in the charges being dropped. Which is of great benefit to you because you won't serve jail time or community service. Even if you are still charged for the crime you're accused of, having a good defense could result in a sentencing that isn't as harsh as it would have been if you had no defense. A strong defense could be the difference in whether you serve time in prison, or serve time in community service.
Attend Court Hearings
This is where you plead guilty or not guilty. It is very important to attend as the defendant because you want to be present to defend yourself. If you don't attend a court then you most likely will be waiving your right to a defense and will be facing more jail time.
Sometimes, we may be able to settle the case without going to court. That would be an excellent scenario. It depends on the specific details of the situation. If you're not sure when your court appearance is scheduled, ask the judge at your arraignment hearing.
The arraignment is when the charge is read out loud for the first time and the defendant enters their guilty or not guilty plea. We usually claim innocence at our first court appearance, giving us time to look into the charges against us and possibly negotiate a deal.
A criminal trial may be scheduled for a hearing called a "Motions Hearing." You may have to appear in court twice or three times. It is now time for the prosecution to present any evidence or report documents.