The Procedure Followed When You Are Charged with a Crime
Being charged with a crime can make you panic now that you don’t know what will happen at the end. Understanding the process of criminal charges can help you to contain yourself when charged. Also it’s important to know some of the laws that will be applied in your law. 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. It’s not necessarily that you will be arrested that soon after being charged with a crime since it depends on the crime you have committed. The judge is the one to produce your arrest warrant so that the officers will start searching for you whether physically or manually. 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. A magistrate should try to reach you within 48 hours of being arrested so that he will give choose which options are right for you depending with the weight of your case either pay a bond or have a pending case. When the magistrate allows you to go home on bond then there is no way you will go home if you haven’t paid the bond. For those that are charged with complicates cases will have no bond hence they will not be able to go anywhere until their case hearing date.
The court hearings is the other step that you will go to when you are charged with a criminal offense. When your court hearing is mentioned you should expect the judge to read your charges and you should defend yourself. You will plead to be guilty, not guilty or no contest after the judge reads your criminal charges. However, it’s good to involve a criminal lawyer who will advise you and explain to you the possible steps that the judge will take for either of your responses. Also you should provide the court with enough evidence that has to be proved for you to be confirmed not guilty.
When you are proven guilty then you have the next stage which is sentencing. At this time the judge will check on your previous record to see if you have ever been arrested before. If you have no other records of criminal charges your sentence might be lighter.