The criminal process can seem overwhelming and confusing for those who are unfamiliar with it and have never experienced it before. The process is especially this way when you have been wrongfully accused of a crime and are wondering why your basic civil liberties are slowly being taken away. The important thing to remember to do is to remain calm and repeatedly ask for an attorney. Your opportunity will come, and then we can begin the resolution.
Our firm has taken the initiative to provide the framework of the criminal process so that recently charged individuals and their families can know what to expect at each of the below stages. Of course, once you have retained the counsel of Jansen & Davis, P.A., it is no longer your responsibility to understand this process and we can take it from there.
The entire process begins at the moment in which the police have stopped an individual, whether on the street or driving, or when the police have set up a point in time to make the arrest of an individual. It's important to remember that even though the individual is currently under the command of law enforcement, he or she still has rights.
The Police Stop
When you have been stopped or brought in for questioning, you are under no obligation to disclose information, no matter how much the police pressure you. It is best to ask for an attorney if you feel threatened in any way.
If you are being arrested, the police are obligated to read your Miranda Rights - these are the rights you have while and after being arrested. These include the right to remain silent and to bring in an attorney for assistance.
This is when are you are being taken into county custody. This process involves taking finger prints, pictures of your profile, and in some cases saliva samples for DNA. This is when the courts are notified of your alleged offense.
Arraignment & Plea
This when you are officially charged with your crime. The judge will inform of your charge and, hopefully with the prearranged consultation with your attorney, you will either enter a guilty, not guilty, or no contest plea. Guilty pleas expedite sentencing while not guilty pleas postpone to a later court date where your criminal trial will take place.
It's important to get a Tallahassee criminal defense attorney on your side as early along in the process as possible to avoid making mistakes that could carry long into one's future. With counsel by your side, suspected criminals receive an entirely new set of treatment by law enforcement, and the integrity of the case is preserved.
For more information about the criminal process, contact a Tallahassee criminal defense attorney at Jansen & Davis, P.A.