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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

Criminal Law FAQ

What happens after I am arrested?

The police can either arrest you or give you a ticket to appear in court. If they arrest you, bail can be set and you can be released from jail if either cash or a bond is posted. Bail is a way the court can obtain assurances that you will return after you are released from custody. A friend or family member can post the entire amount of the bail in the form of cash with the police or sheriff’s department holding you. In the event all of the cash cannot be obtained, a bail bond company should be contacted so they can post bail on your behalf. Usually, a bail bonds company charges 10% of the bail amount and puts up the entire amount of the bail with the police or sheriff’s department so you can be released. At the conclusion of the case, bail will be exonerated if you appear in court as required. If you paid with cash it will be returned to the person who posted the bail within 10 weeks, but if bail was posted by a bail bonds company, the 10% will be kept by the bail bond company for their services.

The court process… What happens?

The prosecutor will decide whether to file charges against you. They can either file a misdemeanor or felony charge against you or reject the case for criminal prosecution because they do not have sufficient evidence for a conviction. If a case is filed, there will be court date scheduled called an arraignment, which must be done within 2 calendar days (excluding Saturday and Sunday) of the arrest if you are in custody. At the arraignment the judge will inform you of the charges filed against you and give you an opportunity to enter a plea. If a misdemeanor is filed, a trial must be set within 30 calendar days after arraignment if you are in custody or 45 calendar days if you are not. In most cases, attorneys schedule pre-trial hearings to discuss the matter with the prosecutor and judge prior to trial. If an agreement cannot be reached as to the disposition of the case, the matter is set for Trial.

 

Raul G. Lomas, Attorney at Law

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