Punta Gorda, FL – Anyone who has been arrested and charged with a crime will have to go through various processes in the criminal justice system. The person must be formally notified of the exact charges against them, and they are also given an opportunity to claim they are not guilty and present a defense. If the person is convicted of the offense, penalties can range from fines to several years in jail and probation depending on the severity of the crime they were charged with. Lawyers who handle criminal defense issues are an important asset during this process due to their familiarity with the local courts, criminal statutes, and procedures that can help their clients.
Notification of the arrest
Police are supposed to tell the suspect that they are under arrest and name the specific crime they will be charged with. They are also supposed to notify the person of their Miranda rights and their ability to refuse to answer questions. Generally, the person should not talk to the police or make any admissions until they have spoken with a lawyer.
After a defendant is transported away from the crime scene, they are fingerprinted and processed as their arrest paperwork with identifying information is completed. The suspect is given a hearing in front of a neutral judge to determine if there was probable cause for an arrest.
The judge will formally read the charges against the person at an arraignment where they can enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest. In many cases, the defendant will initially enter a not guilty plea so that they have a chance to post bail, be released, and prepare a defense. Some serious crimes may not allow the person to post bail and they will remain in custody until their trial day.
Attempting to defend against the state’s charges
All criminal accusations need to be proven beyond all reasonable doubt for a defendant to be convicted. The defendant always has the right to present a case to attempt to get an acquittal. Criminal defense lawyers dedicate their careers to this process. With their help, it is possible for someone who has been charged to get an acquittal, have their charges dropped, or take a plea deal for a lesser penalty. There are also additional services defense attorneys provide such as excluding improperly collected evidence and attending hearings on the client’s behalf.
Speaking with a local defense attorney
The Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb is a firm that provides criminal defense services to local clients in Punta Gorda and other parts of Florida. Their attorneys can provide more information about the procedures after an arrest.
Firm contact info:
2423 First Street, Fort Myers, FL 33901