Most people know little about the legal system until they face charges. Defendants often underestimate the complexity of New York State Criminal Procedure Law, and they make mistakes that compromise their interests. This is why it is so important to consult a criminal lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest.
If you were arrested in New York, then attorney Darren DeUrso can evaluate your charges and prepare an aggressive defense. To schedule a consultation with a White Plains criminal attorney, call Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law today at 914-772-8614.
Until then, read on to learn about six legal procedures that may follow an arrest:
- The Arrest Process
There are several protocols that police must follow to make a legal arrest. For example, they must have probable cause to make a traffic stop. If police do not follow these regulations, then certain evidence may be inadmissible in court.
The police will book you into the county jail, fingerprint you and take photographs. You will have to provide personal details, which they will use to check your arrest record. If you have any valuables in your possession, such as money or jewelry, then you must hand them in for safekeeping.
- The Bail Process
Within 48 hours of your arrest, you are likely to make your initial appearance in court. If necessary, the judge will use this opportunity to appoint a criminal lawyer for you. Additionally, he or she will identify probable cause for your arrest and set bail. The cost of your bail will depend on the nature of the crime.
- The Pleading Process
After your initial court appearance, you will have to attend an arraignment hearing within the following month. Here you will make your plea: guilty, not guilty or no contest. Defendants who plead no contest are stating they will answer to the charges later. In addition, the judge may decide to review your bail conditions.
The state’s attorney will scrutinize your case to find out if there is sufficient evidence to proceed against you. If there is, then he or she will lay formal charges within the statute of limitations. For example, the prosecution must charge you with a misdemeanor within 75 days of your arraignment hearing. If the crime is a felony, then he or she has 175 days to lay charges.
- The Plea Agreement Process
If the prosecution is willing, you may have the opportunity to enter a plea agreement. These agreements often resolve cases and stop them from going to trial. Judges are not obliged to accept plea agreements, but in most cases, they do.
- The Preliminary Hearing Process
Within 21 days of your arrest, it is your right to request a preliminary hearing. Here, the prosecution will highlight the details of its case against you, and a judge will determine if there is sufficient evidence for trial. Afterward, you may need to plead again. In capital or corruption cases, you will not have a preliminary hearing if a grand jury decides to indict you.
- The Trial Process
It is your legal right to request a jury trial, but this is not always necessary.
If you were arrested for a criminal offense in New York, then Darren DeUrso, Attorney at Law can help you avoid mistakes that could compromise your interests. Call 914-772-8614 to schedule a consultation.