The First Steps After Being Arrested
The First Steps After Being Arrested…
Have you been arrested and charged with “Possession of Drugs”, “Transportation of Drugs”, or a serious motor vehicle offense like “Conduct After an Accident” or “DWI” (Driving While Intoxicated)? If so, there are some first steps you should take right away and I will outline a few here.
At the time of your arrest there were some bail conditions set. (Bail is the term we use for the conditions you must abide by between your arrest and the time the case is over.) The vast majority of people arrested do not get held in jail pending their trial date and very few even have a cash bail. Most people are given a personal recognizance bail, which means they have been released on their own trust to show up for court when they are supposed to. For example, if bail was set at $500 personal recognizance, you do not have to pay $500 if you show up to court when you are scheduled to. You may at some point in the case be required to pay a fine, but the amount of the fine has no correlation to the amount of personal recognizance bail. In addition to the dollar amount, the bail commissioner or the judge may have given you additional bail restrictions. Often, a defendant is not allowed to have contact with the victim or witnesses to the alleged criminal act. Sometimes, a defendant is not allowed to travel to the place where the crime occurred. Make sure to review all the paperwork given to you and to abide by all the bail conditions. Failure to abide by the bail conditions can result in an additional charge of “breach of Bail Conditions”.
If you disagree with any conditions that have been set, you can put a request in writing to the court to amend or change the bail conditions. If you have concerns about the bail conditions, the next best step is to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney like myself to assist you in amending the bail conditions. I have represented hundreds of defendants at the early stages of their criminal case and have success in amending bail conditions on their behalf.
The first court date your case is scheduled for is usually the arraignment and not the trial date. An arraignment is a preliminary hearing where the charges are read, a plea is entered and bail can be addressed if necessary. I recommend setting up a free consultation before your arraignment to take full advantage of all your rights. Making the decision early in in the case to hire an experienced attorney to represent you can make all the difference.
So, remember, the first few steps are to review your conditions of bail and contact Joanne M. Stella, an experienced criminal defense attorney, for your free consultation.
Joanne M. Stella, Esq.