Being arrested for any crime is a terrifying experience. So much is up in the air that you may not know what to expect. While the best way to find out what to expect in your specific case is to contact a criminal defense attorney, you can keep reading to learn the basics. Then call Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.
You Will Be Arraigned
After you have been arrested and have talked to an attorney, you will go to court and be arraigned. This process involving being introduced to the judge who is overseeing the case as well as the prosecution. You will learn the specifics of the charges you are facing, which may not be the same criminal charges you were arrested for.
This is the point at which you will enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. However, you are not locked in – you can change this peal at a later date. The judge will then set bond and include any limitations you must follow if you want to stay out of jail. You will get notices of future hearings.
What to Expect at the Pre-Trial Hearing
Before the trial begins, the defense and prosecution meet before the judge. The details of the case are discussed. This includes the evidence, the witnesses, and other factors. The purpose is to determine if the charges should continue or be dismissed. The ideal option here is to have the charges dismissed as that would mean the case is not going forward.
What to Expect at Motion Hearings
A motion hearing can be held any time before the pre-trial hearing and can be issued by either the prosecution or defense. Motions may be issued for specific issues, such as one side not sharing information with the other, or new information that the defense believes should lead to the case being dismissed. Motions may or may not involve a hearing that is separate from the pre-trial hearing.
What to Expect at the Readiness Hearing
This is the final step before the court trial. The purpose is to let the judge know that both sides are ready to move forward. The schedule will vary for each case but generally speaking, a petty crime’s readiness hearing is shorter than it would be for a felony crime.
Your Attorney Should Be by Your Side Through All of This
One of the many reasons that it is worth working with an experienced attorney is because they will walk you through this entire process. When you choose Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055, we will keep you informed well before every step. We are here to answer questions, provide the best possible representation, and do everything possible to get you through this. Call us now and we can get started.