Facing an arrest in Broward County is a stressful and often confusing experience for anyone involved. Once an arrest occurs , the legal process takes over, and several crucial steps are set into motion. Understanding what happens after an arrest in the Broward Criminal Court can provide valuable insights into the system, ensuring that individuals are aware of their rights and responsibilities during this challenging time. After an arrest, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer, before speaking with the police. Your criminal defense attorney will explain in more detail of what happens after an arrest in Deerfield Beach FL
Booking and Initial Appearance
After an arrest in Deerfield Beach, the individual is taken to the local law enforcement agency or jail for the booking process. During booking, personal information, fingerprints, and photographs are recorded. In most cases, the person arrested will be allowed to make a phone call to inform a friend or family member of their situation.
The next step is the initial appearance, which usually occurs within 24 hours of the arrest. During this brief court hearing, the judge informs the accused of the charges against them, their rights, and the bail amount if applicable. The judge will also appoint an attorney if the individual cannot afford one.
Bail and Pretrial Release
Depending on the nature of the crime and the individual’s criminal history, the Broward county judge may set a bail amount that the accused must pay to secure their release until the trial date. If the bail amount is unaffordable, the accused can request a bail reduction hearing. This is why it is important to contact an attorney right away as a Broward criminal lawyer may be able to reduce the amount of bail at this bail reduction hearing. In some cases, individuals may be released on their recognizance or through pretrial release programs that monitor their activities until the trial.
Arraignment and Plea
The arraignment is the court proceeding, at the main Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, where the accused formally hears the charges against them and enters a plea. The options for a plea include:
a) Guilty: Accepting responsibility for the charges. b) Not Guilty: Denying the charges and opting for a trial. c) No Contest (Nolo Contendere): Neither admitting nor denying guilt, but accepting punishment as if guilty. Sometimes criminal cases are plead out during arraignment, however, this is not typical. You should definitely consult with a criminal attorney before accepting a plea at arraignment.
Discovery and Pretrial Motions
After the arraignment, both the prosecution and defense attorneys engage in a process known as discovery. The defense may file pretrial motions, such as motions to suppress evidence or dismiss the case if they believe there were legal violations or lack of evidence.
Plea Bargaining (Optional)
In some cases, the prosecution and criminal defense attorney may engage in plea bargaining negotiations. This is when the parties discuss the possibility of reaching a plea agreement, which could result in reduced charges or a lesser sentence for the accused. Plea bargains are not mandatory, and the accused has the right to reject any proposed deal and proceed to trial.
If the accused pleads not guilty or a plea agreement cannot be reached, the case will proceed to trial at the Broward County Courthouse. During the trial, both sides present their evidence and arguments, and a jury or judge determines the accused’s guilt or innocence. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
If the accused is found guilty or pleads guilty, the Broward County Judge will proceed to sentencing. The judge considers various factors, such as the severity of the crime, the defendant’s criminal history, and any mitigating circumstances, to determine an appropriate sentence.
Experiencing an arrest in Deerfield Beach and navigating the legal process that follows can be overwhelming for anyone involved. In Deerfield Beach, FL, the steps after an arrest include booking, initial appearance, bail determination, arraignment, discovery, pretrial motions, plea bargaining (optional), trial, and sentencing. Understanding these stages is essential for defendants to assert their rights and seek fair treatment during the judicial process. If ever faced with an arrest, seeking a criminal defense attorney in Deerfield Beach is crucial to protect one’s interests and receive a fair trial.
Our Deerfield Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer, Christian Van Riper, a former prosecutor, is works hard for his clients and is skilled at representing defendants charged with misdemeanors and felonies in Broward County, including DUI, Boating under the Influence (BUI), domestic battery, battery, burglary, reckless driving, theft, drug possession, drug trafficking, fraud, computer fraud, credit card fraud, and all misdemeanors and felonies. All consultations with our Deerfield Beach criminal defense attorneys are free. For more information on what happens after an arrest in Deerfield Beach FL call 954-369-0776 day or night.