The Criminal Process
No one wants to be arrested. It can be frightening and confusing for anyone, but especially if your freedom is at risk. At The Hirsch Firm we talk to many people who are trying to find their way through the maze of the criminal justice system, some for the first time. No one should be alone during times like this.
From arrest to the conclusion of a case, certain procedures take place every time in the same order. You are formally charged for a felony by a grand jury indictment obtained by the District Attorney's Office. You are formally charged for a misdemeanor by the filing of an accusation by the Solicitor General's Office. The length of time these procedures take differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
If you or your child is arrested and taken into custody, within one to three days you are taken before a magistrate judge for him/her to determine an appropriate bond. Bond can usually be posted with cash, property, or surity by calling a bonding company.
For those who do not post bond a preliminary hearing is scheduled. The preliminary hearing is a proceeding whereby evidence is presented to try to establish probable cause for the charges you face.
Once you are indicted or accused, the first court appearance is called the arraignment. This is a formal reading of your charges and when a judge will ask you if you plead guilty or not guilty to the charge. If you plead not guilty, your case will continue and move towards a trial. This is valuable time to gather evidence to build a defense or negotiate a plea and sentence you can live with.
These are all critical stages of the criminal justice process and you are entitled to an attorney. You should have an experienced attorney that understands these processes, guide you through them and make sure the people involved in the system do not take advantage of you.
IF YOU OR YOUR CHILD IS ARRESTED and now trying to find your way through the criminal justice process, fill out the form or call The Hirsch Firm now at (678) 561-0411 for a free consultation.