What Happens When You Are Charged with a Crime
Criminal charges have a lot of uncertainties that make many people gee stress due to the tip of the charges. However, it’s important to know what to expect when dealing with criminal charges so that you will have an easy time handling the case. Besides understanding the procedures you also need to understand the current laws that are going to be applied in your case. If you want to know these procedures and also your rights when you are charged with crime continue reading this article.
You will start by being charged and booking. The crime you have done will determine whether you will get arrested immediately or later. The officers should look for you so that you can be jailed following the judge issue of warranty for you to be arrested. You need to get a copy of warrant from the court since the officers are likely not to have it so that you can have an idea of what are your criminal charges. From being arrested you will be directed to a jail or local police department so that your fingerprints and mugshot can be taken. Within 48 hours after being arrested you should be able to talk to a magistrate who will decide to release you on bond or let you depending with your crime you can have a pending hearing. What you need to know is that if you have to be released on the bond it must be paid before you are set free. However, to some people they are denied the bond due to the seriousness of the crime hence they have to remain in jail until when their case will be heard.
Secondly you will be taken for the court hearing. The judge is expected to inform you when you are expected to report to the court for your case hearing and during that day you will be a defendant who should answer for the crime charged with. After the reading of your charges you can plead to be guilty, not guilty or no contest. You are allowed to hire a criminal attorney who will be assisting you when taking a plea. If you didn’t commit the crime and you can prove it before the judge then you should plead not guilty and if it proved that you are not guilty then you will be charged less or nothing.
If you are guilty of your charges then you will be sentenced. Before the judge mentions about your sentence, s/he will have to investigate on your criminal records. You sentence will be cheap if you have never been charged before.