You have many rights during the arrest and booking
phase. If you are in custody and under interrogation,
your Miranda Rights must be read to you. In many
states, you also have the right to make a phone call.
The police will ask you for your basic information. You
will be fingerprinted and photographed. You may also
be asked to line-up or give a handwriting sample.
The information will be sent to the prosecutor and
reviewed. Then he or she will decide what charges
should be filed.
*Note: If you have been arrested for a felony, the prosecutor may enlist a grand jury to
determine your charges.
You will have an appearance in court, called an
arraignment, at which point the charges against you
will be read, and you will be asked whether you plead
guilty or not guilty.
*Note: If you have been charged with a felony, you will NOT enter a plea.
If you plead guilty for a misdemeanor, either a date
will be set for sentencing or your sentence (fines,
probation, jail time, etc) will be imposed immediately.
If you plead not guilty for a misdemeanor, or if you
wish to retain an attorney, a trial date will be set.
If you plead not guilty, the judge may set your bail.
Bail is a sum of money that you pay to the court in
order to ensure that you will appear in court when told
to do so. If you “post bail,” you may be able to get out
of jail prior to trial.
*Note: If you have been charged with a felony or a particularly heinous crime, bail may be
denied and you may be kept in jail before your trial.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor and
pled not guilty, your case will be taken to trial.
If you have been charged with a felony, you will have
a preliminary hearing first, to establish if there is
probable cause for the charge. If there is probable
cause, the case is taken to trial court.
The criminal process is confusing.
Call us. We are here to help.