What to Do After an Arrest
Fight Your Charges
Have you been arrested for a criminal offense in Ft. Lauderdale? The majority
of individuals are not well-acquainted with criminal law and courtroom
proceedings, but knowing what to expect will help you be prepared for
the courtroom and the possibility of punishment. Even if you have been
arrested before, every criminal case is different and the process will
differ depending on the nature of your charges.
If you have been arrested and taken to jail, there are several steps that
must happen before the authorities can release you. First, you must be
booked into the criminal system and go through a bail hearing to determine
how much you will have to pay to be set free. After you "post bail",
you will be released from jail upon the understanding that you will appear
at your court hearing. At this point, you should have already contacted a
criminal defense attorney who can build a strong case and make sure your rights are protected.
Choosing the best defense lawyer for your case is one of the most important
decisions you will make. You need an experienced and trustworthy defense
attorney who will be 100% committed to you and your future. At Parks &
Braxton, PA, our reputable team of defense lawyers understands what is
at stake with your case. When you contact our firm, we immediately go
to work for you so that you can have the best legal defense at your pretrial
hearings. The outcome of most criminal cases depends on the pretrial motions
and the hearings that accompany them.
The Steps of a Criminal Case
In order for law enforcement to legally conduct a search of you or your
property, they must have probable cause. In some cases, this requires
a search warrant. In other cases, they need only have a reasonable suspicion
that you have committed a crime.
Once the officer has decided they have cause to arrest you, they must read
you your Fifth Amendment rights ("Miranda Rights"), which inform
you of your right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present before
you submit to any questioning. After your arrest, you will be processed
and booked. Remember that during this time, you have the right not to
incriminate yourself, which means that you should exercise your right
not to speak to police or provide them with any information that they
can use against you. Following your booking, a complaint will be filed
with the court and an arraignment will be scheduled.
It is wise to have an attorney represent you at the arraignment. Bail will
be set at this hearing, if it is an option. The bail amount will vary
depending on your potential flight risk and the type of crime that you
are being charged with. If there is evidence to support it, the judge
may decide to levy further charges against you. Following the arraignment,
you will proceed to the preliminary hearing, at which your lawyer may
challenge the validity of your arrest. If your attorney can successfully
demonstrate that your Fifth Amendment rights or other rights were violated
during your arrest, the judge may decide to drop your charges. If not,
the case will move forward to trial.
During the trial phase, a jury will be selected by both the defense attorney
and the prosecutor. The trial commences with opening arguments, after
which both sides will call upon witnesses and present evidence in support
of their case. After debating the evidence, both sides will conclude with
closing arguments and the jury will deliberate. In order for the accused
individual to be convicted, the jury must unanimously find that the defendant
is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” If the jury returns
a “not guilty” verdict, the defendant is cleared of charges.
If the jury returns a “guilty” verdict, the defendant will
have an opportunity to appeal the conviction.
Help from a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Lawyer
If your case is not resolved during a pretrial hearing or motion, you have
the option of a
plea bargain. A knowledgeable defense attorney from our firm can walk you through the
pros and cons of a plea bargain so that you can make an educated decision
about your case. Regardless of what you decide, we will always be prepared
to take your case to the courtroom and vigorously defend your rights before
a jury and a judge. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our
team never backs down from a fight. We have successfully handled thousands
of cases and we are always available to take your call.