As soon as you realize that you will be charged with a crime, your mind will likely become flooded with questions. Nevertheless, many of your concerns can be answered during your initial consultation with your defense attorney. Here are four concerns many defendants have:
1. What happens after I am arrested?
Initial Appearance in Court
After you have been arrested and booked, you will be scheduled for an initial appearance in court. You can expect to be advised of the following during that appearance:
- Your official charges
- Your right to legal counsel
- Your set bail amount (if bail is granted)
- Your right to a preliminary hearing
2. How will I pay for legal services?
Services for the Poor
If you are indigent, your legal representation is covered. The law mandates that you receive the services of a court-appointed attorney free of charge. However, the attorney is not selected by you.
If you hire your own lawyer, your initial consultation with the attorney will likely be free. The lawyer can discuss case details and legal fees during the meeting..
The legal fees may be based on the complexity of your charges and the number of court appearances that will transpire. If you do not have the entire fee amount upfront, the attorney may offer a payment plan to lessen the financial impact.
3. If I am released on bail, how soon will I need to reappear in court?
If you elect to have a preliminary hearing to review the detailed charges against you and you are still in custody, you will appear in court within two weeks after your initial appearance. If you are not in custody, the preliminary hearing will take place within three weeks of your initial appearance.
4. Is there a way to have my charges dropped without going to trial?
Your criminal attorney can request an immunity hearing, which allows the evidence to be presented as it would during a trial. There is no jury at an immunity hearing. Instead, a judge hears the evidence and rules as to whether or not you should be immune from the charges.
Being charged with a crime can be a confusing experience. Nevertheless, the criminal defense attorney who represents you will be able to provide answers for most of your legal questions. If you believe you will be charged with a crime, consult with an attorney as soon as possible.
To learn more, contact a criminal law office like Rutter and Sleeth Law Offices.