What Happens If You Are Arrested?
If you were not released by a citation from the scene of the alleged crime, then you were placed in a patrol vehicle and taken to jail. At jail, the officer can still release you from custody by citation. If you are not released by citation, then in most circumstances your case will be evaluated to determine whether or not a judge will release you from custody. This is called own recognizance release.
If the judge allows you to be released on your own recognizance, then you will not have to post a bail bond. Being released on your own recognizance means that you made a promise to appear at court for your arraignment at a later date.
If you are not released by either a citation or own recognizance release, then you will have to post a bail bond. A bond is typically posted in three ways. First, you can post the full amount of the bail bond to the county jail (for example the Administrative Booking Department). These funds will be returned, minus minimal administrative fees, about two to four weeks after the case resolves. Second, you can post a property bond. Usually the equity in the property has to be double of what the bail bond is. Third, you can contact a local bail bond company to post the bond. The bail bond agent’s fee typically is 7 percent to 10 percent of the bond amount, which is industry standard.
What Will Happen At The Arraignment And Future Court Dates?
The first court appearance in any case, whether misdemeanor or felony, is called an arraignment. Although there are not many major substantive issues handled at the arraignment, it is still a scary process for the client. We understand that stress and will be with you all of the way, and in some instances, you will not need to appear in court unless we advise you to be in court. After your arraignment, there will be future courts. Most of the future court dates will typically be called a Plea, Preliminary Examination Setting, or Pretrial Conference. Depending on what issues arise during the course of your case, other court dates may include discovery motions, motions to release subpoenaed material, motions to suppress evidence and many more. Obviously, we will strongly advocate for your case to be dismissed. A dismissal can happen at any time during the process. A dismissal is the best result, but sometimes that is not realistic. Your case can typically resolve in one of three ways. First, your case is dismissed sometime during its pendency. Second, there may be a mitigated offer to resolve your case that is reached after discussions with the district attorney and judge. If you accept a resolution, then you will be sentenced. Third, your case does not resolve for some reason and there is a trial. At either a court trial or jury trial, you will be found innocent or guilty. If you are found innocent, then the case is done as it would be if the case was dismissed. If you are found guilty, then you will be sentenced.
If you enter a no-contest plea, guilty, plea, or there is a guilty verdict at trial, the next step is sentencing. Depending on the type of case, there are several potential options that you can be sentenced to (this is not an all-inclusive list): no jail time, community service, AA meetings, angry management, counseling, therapy, paying a fine, drug or alcohol classes, sheriff’s work program, public service program, house arrest (electronic monitoring), alcohol monitoring (SCRAM), residential treatment program, sober living environment, restitution paid to victims, fines, county jail or prison.
How Long Will The Process Last?
Each case if factually different and may have different legal issues to address. Whether you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor, most cases resolve in four to six months. Your case could be shorter or last longer. Although we are very sensitive to your needs in wanting this process to come to a speedy conclusion, we will never sacrifice quality of success for a speedy end. If your case lasts 10 months and is ultimately dismissed, then that was the right length of time for your case. We want to have quality results for our clients and that is what you are going to receive.
I Am Being Investigated. What Should I Do?
We will first start by telling you what not to – Do not speak to law enforcement without counsel. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. If you know or feel that you are being investigated for possibly committing a crime, then speaking law enforcement without speaking to us first could mean the difference between being arrested or not.
Contact Us For A Free Consultation
Contact us online or call our office at 408-273-8239 to schedule a free consultation.