What Happens After You’re Arrested?
First, you will go through processing with law enforcement. Next, you will go before a judicial officer (such as a judge, magistrate, or justice of the peace) in an initial appearance in court. This is so that the judicial officer can take a look at the charges against you to make sure the police have probable cause to hold you in jail.
This appearance before a judge or judicial officer serves other purposes, as well. The judge will inform you of your rights at this time. The judge will inform you of the charges against you, and he will explain those charges to you. You have a right to obtain a copy of the charges. The judge will also set a bail amount, as well as a preliminary date for your hearing. The judge will further advise you of your legal rights, such as your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. You have a right to choose a lawyer to represent you, or the judge can appoint a lawyer if you don’t know of any or don’t want to choose one for yourself. A lawyer who specializes in your type of case, such as a Sacramento criminal attorney, can be especially helpful.
Some people confuse the “initial appearance” in court with an “arraignment,” which occurs after the initial appearance and is the stage at which the defendant needs to plead guilty or not-guilty to the charge. In many cases, there are no lawyers on either side at the initial appearance, but if you have hired a defense lawyer by that point, he or she has the right to attend. Starting with the initial appearance, defendants have a constitutional right to be represented by counsel. If you don’t have a lawyer, the court is required to appoint a lawyer to represent you within a short period of time. The initial appearance in court also marks the point when there is a limit on the ability of the police to take statements from you and have a lineup without your attorney being present.
As you would expect, you are constitutionally entitled to have an attorney at the arraignment stage.
Looking for a Sacramento misdemeanor criminal attorney? Call attorney Param Pabla for an initial consultation.