What happens after a criminal arrest?
Police reports will be written and other investigative work done by law enforcement. Once they have completed all this, it will be sent to the prosecutor in charge of the case. The prosecutor will evaluate the information received to determine what, if any criminal charge(s) should be filed against the defendant. These charges may consist of a misdemeanor or felony or multiple charges, depending on the facts of the case. The prosecutor may also determine that no charges will be filed. If the arrest results in the filing of criminal charges, the next step will take place in court at the arraignment.
What is an arraignment?
The arraignment is the first court appearance where a judge will inform the defendant of the charge(s) filed against him and the defendant will enter his plea of guilty or not guilty. After this a court date is set for the next procedure in the legal process.
How does bail work? Will I get the money back?
Posting bail or a bond is required to ensure that the defendant will not attempt to flee but will return to court for necessary appearances. If you can afford to post bail in cash, the entire amount will be returned to you once your case has been resolved providing you appear in court as needed. If you cannot afford to post the bail in cash, you will need the services of a bail bondsman who will post the amount for you. You will then be required to pay a fee for this service which is not refundable.
Do I have to answer police questions during or after an arrest?

The only information you need to give law enforcement is your identification. If the police ask you questions, you have the right to remain silent. You must tell them that you are invoking your right to do so under constitutional law. It is best to tell law enforcement as little as possible until you have retained the services of a criminal defense lawyer who can be present during any questioning or investigation or should you be asked to sign a statement. Your right to an attorney is also guaranteed under law.

What's the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

A misdemeanor is a criminal offense that is more serious than a petty offense and less serious than a felony. Misdemeanors are classified from the most serious, a Class 1, to a Class 3, the least serious. A misdemeanor conviction may result in jail time of up to a year as well as a fine. Examples of misdemeanors include criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, drunk driving, and domestic violence assault.

A felony is the most serious criminal defense which may result in state prison time as well as a fine, probation, and other court­ordered actions. They are classified from Class 1, the most serious, to Class 6, the least serious. Examples of felonies include theft, stalking, possession of controlled substances, and vehicular assault.

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For specific questions concerning your criminal case it is best to have your situation reviewed and evaluated by a knowledgeable defense attorney. Request a free consultation from my firm, the Law Offices of Jarrett J. Benson. Contact us to schedule your case review as soon as possible.