What Happens After Being Charged With a Crime?
Our NYC Defense Lawyers Protect Your Rights at Every Stage of Your Case
Successfully navigating the complex criminal justice system requires the advice and guidance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer. The skilled criminal law attorneys at Bernfeld, DeMatteo & Bernfeld, LLP know how to protect your best interests at all times throughout the legal process.
Depending on the unique circumstances of your case, you may be charged with a crime before law enforcement arrests you. For example, if you’re accused of committing a white-collar crime that required weeks of surveillance and investigations, police may first obtain a warrant for your arrest.
The following are some of the basic steps that occur after you’re charged with a crime:
After being arrested for a crime, you are booked. This process creates an official arrest record and involves taking your fingerprints and photograph and recording other identifying data.
Typically, within 24 hours of your arrest, you will be brought before the criminal court, where the charges against you will be read. If you were not arrested with a warrant, this may be the first time you hear about the charges you face. Bail will also be discussed. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor offense, you may plead guilty at arraignment. Felony offenders are not asked to enter a plea at arraignment.
- Part F
In some felony cases, plea offers may be made during arraignment. If no plea offer is made, the presiding criminal court judge will adjourn the case to Part F—the court for cases involving people charged with felonies who are not yet indicted.
- Preliminary Hearing or Grand Jury Proceeding
Preliminary hearings and grand jury proceedings are used to determine if there is probable cause. If no probable cause exists, you will not have to go to trial. During a preliminary hearing, both sides question witnesses and develop arguments, and the judge determines if there is probable cause. However, a grand jury is only concerned with what the prosecution has to say. The grand jury may request more in-depth investigations and call its own witnesses. Then the grand jury determines if there is enough evidence to indict you.
The prosecution is tasked with proving that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of the crimes with which you are charged. At your trial, the judge or a jury will determine if you are guilty or not guilty.
Why Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer for the Process?
If you face charges for state crimes, misdemeanors and felonies, it’s important to get a lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can provide you with sound advice regarding all aspects of the criminal justice system. We can prepare you for your first appearance and help you understand what to expect at the bail hearing and arraignment.
At Bernfeld, DeMatteo & Bernfeld, LLP, we know that finding your way through the criminal justice system can be confusing and stressful. Our lawyers provide you with the information you need about the law and your case at each stage to guide you through the legal process.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
Schedule a complimentary consultation with our criminal defense attorneys today to discuss the details of your case and learn more about how we can help. Call us at (212) 661-1661 or use our online contact form to reach us.