If you have been accused of a criminal act, you need skilled legal representation for your case to have the best chance at a positive outcome.
Your attorney’s effectiveness in navigating the justice system and advocating for your rights could be the difference between a harsh sentence and much lighter penalties.
Review the frequently asked questions and answers below to learn more about the criminal justice system and find out how an attorney can help throughout the legal process.
CAN THE POLICE ARREST ME WITHOUT PROOF OF MY GUILT?
The police can arrest you only if they have probable cause that you carried out the crime. If they do, you could be subject to three types of arrests:
- Lawful arrest – If the police think you committed the crime, they can enact a lawful arrest. Once you are in custody, your arraignment typically occurs within 48 hours.
- Flight risk – If the police do not think you will flee, they can submit your case to the district attorney’s office. You will receive a mailed letter requesting you to attend an arraignment.
- Voluntary surrender – The police can ask you to surrender at a nearby police station.
SHOULD I MAKE A STATEMENT OR SPEAK TO THE POLICE?
It is usually in your best interest not to sign any documents or make any statements to police. You should immediately hire a skilled criminal defense attorney who can advocate on your behalf and prevent you from making statements that could be used against you in court.
WHAT IS AN ARRAIGNMENT?
The arraignment will be your first appearance in a courtroom. At this proceeding, your lawyer will receive the complaint stating the charges against you and police reports in your case. Your lawyer can argue for bail.
WHAT IS A PRELIMINARY HEARING AND WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THIS HEARING?
A preliminary hearing is one where you are charged with a felony and you appear in a courtroom. The judge will decide if there is probable cause to show that you committed a crime and your attorney will dispute evidence against you.
After the hearing, your case can be sent to another court if the judge decides there is enough evidence that you committed the crime.
WHAT IS A PRETRIAL CONFERENCE AND WHAT OCCURS AT TRIAL?
At the pretrial conference, your attorney can discuss a plea bargain or argue pretrial motions to exclude evidence from trial or dismiss your case due to lack of sufficient evidence.
The trial is a courtroom procedure that includes a jury, evidence, cross-examination of witnesses and closing statements. The jury deliberates and issues a verdict.
If you have been accused of a crime, contact the skilled Savannah criminal defense attorneys at The Nye Law Group. We will aggressively defend your rights and guide you through the legal process so your case has a chance to have the best outcome possible.
Contact our attorneys today to schedule your free consultation. Call 855-856-4212.