I've Been Arrested

I've Been Arrested. What's Next?

Guidance from a Phoenix Criminal Defense Attorney

The first thing you should do before an arrest is to ask for an attorney. Law enforcement is required to inform an arrestee of their Miranda rights while they are being arrested. These rights include the right to remain silent and the right to consult with an attorney. Get in touch with an attorney as soon as you can so that you can begin to build a strong defense as soon as possible. Since anything you say can and will be used against you in court, it is wise to only proceed with the experienced counsel of a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer like one at Knowles Law Firm, PLC.

Once you are arrested, you will go through a process known as "booking." The arrestee will be taken to a police station or jail where they will have their fingerprints and photograph taken for documentation and legitimate entry into custody. An arrestee will have to wait in a holding cell until they can see a judge at the first hearing. This can be an intimidating time, especially for those who have never been arrested before. Regardless of the charges you might be facing, our firm can assist.

First Appearance and Bail

After your initial booking, you will be brought before a judge (or magistrate). One of the things that will be discussed at this hearing is bail. Depending on the alleged crime committed, you may or may not be able to post bail. If you are able to be released on bail, then you are free to leave custody but must appear at your next hearing. Anyone who fails to show up at this next hearing will likely have an arrest warrant placed on them. The amount of bail will differ depending on the offense. The judge is responsible for deciding the amount, but that amount cannot be "excessive" according to the Eight Amendment.

Arraignment Hearings & Plea Bargains

An arraignment is the hearing where you will formally be read your charges. As a response to the reading of the charges, the defendant will be asked how they plea. At this point, the defendant can plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. At this point and time, a defendant may also enter into a plea bargain if one is offered and if the defendant's attorney advises it. Depending upon the defendant's response, the criminal process can go one of a few directions. If the defendant pleads guilty, then the case will move to an evidentiary hearing. If a defendant pleads not guilty, then the case will move to a preliminary hearing or trial.

Pretrial Motions & Trial

A pretrial motion is often a pivotal part of the criminal process. In a successful pretrial motion, certain pieces of evidence will be withheld from trial. If enough pertinent evidence is dismissed from a case, then a case may not even move to the trial phase.

The criminal process can be difficult to navigate on one's own. The intricacies of the justice system are best handled by an experienced defense attorney. Mr. Knowles not only has years of defense experience, but was formerly a police officer. Other attorneys at the firm have also formerly acted as prosecuting attorneys, which allows the firm comprehensive experience and a thorough understanding of the justice system at all levels. If you or a loved one has just been arrested, and you are seeking legal assistance, contact a Phoenix criminal defense lawyer at our firm so that we can help you take the necessary steps to avoid a conviction.

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