Knowledge is power, and when you know what to expect when involved in a legal dispute, you could have a better chance of getting a favorable outcome. Here is the general process a person would expect after an arrest.
First, the police cite or arrest someone and write a report that summarizes the events leading to the arrest. The defendant charged with a misdemeanor or felony should hire a lawyer to represent him or her. You do not have to speak with law enforcement. Miranda warnings give you the right to stop a police interrogation once arrested – and once Miranda is asserted, the police have to stop questioning you. And remember, you cannot legally be punished by the police for refusing to answer questions.
What are your Miranda Rights?
- You have the right to remain silent.
- If you do say anything, it can be used against you in a court of law.
- You have the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning.
- If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you if you so desire.
The prosecutor then decides whether to file charges and, if so, what charges to file. They also decide whether to charge the crime as a felony or a misdemeanor.
Because defendants have a right to a speedy trial, the prosecutor must generally file charges within 48 hours of the arrest when the defendant is in custody.
Coping with the aftermath of an arrest can be overwhelming, but our team is equipped with extensive experience that can help ease your stress. Contact us today to schedule a meeting to discuss your legal needs.