An arrest can be a terrifying and unsettling experience. You don’t know what to do next, and you’re unsure what your future will hold. However, Florida criminal defense attorneys advise that you try to keep calm and abide by the Miranda rights that the arresting officer should have recited to you, especially the one about not speaking without a lawyer present. That is because an attorney will be there to protect your rights and make sure that you don’t say anything that can incriminate you. An attorney will also provide a robust defense to get your charges dropped or reduced.
While there is nothing that can prepare you for an arrest, knowing what happens when you get arrested could make the experience more predictable. At the very least, you will know whether the officer follows the proper procedure. Just don’t forget that you have the right to an attorney, and be sure to exercise that right as soon as possible.
When you are arrested, you will be taken into custody, and the officer will present you with the charges, read you your Miranda rights, place you in handcuffs, put you in their vehicle, and take you to jail. You will be photographed and fingerprinted; in some cases, you might be asked to participate in a lineup or provide a voice or handwriting sample. You might also be given a date for your arraignment, which is where you enter a plea to the charges that have been filed against you.
At the arraignment, you and your attorney will appear before a judge who will inform you of the charges against you and ask that you enter a plea. That plea can be guilty, not guilty, or no contest. Your attorney will advise you on which plea you should enter.
Your next court date will be the pretrial conference, where you, your attorney, the prosecutor, and the judge discuss the case. During the conference, the attorneys will discuss the evidence that has been collected, motions to reduce the charges against you, whether more time is needed, and so on. The attorneys and judge will also discuss whether the case needs a jury trial or not. Sometimes a case can get dismissed at the pretrial conference, but if not, it will go to trial.
Your case will be presented before a judge and jury, and the attorneys will argue about your guilt or innocence before them. Once the attorneys have finished making their arguments, the jury will decide which attorney made the most convincing argument and hand out their verdict.
Know Your Rights and Get an Attorney!
You can see that an attorney is essential after being arrested, so you should call one as soon as possible. Your Miranda rights include the right to an attorney, so you should exercise that right when you get the chance. Stay calm and cooperate with the police after your arrest, but do not speak to them or answer their questions without your attorney. Your attorney can make a big difference in your case because they can get the charges against you reduced or dismissed. So, contact an attorney as soon as you’re allowed to after you’ve been arrested.