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The Criminal Justice Process | After You’ve Been Charged With a Crime

What Happens After Being Charged with a Crime?

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 defense lawyer. The skilled criminal law attorneys at Bernfeld, DeMatteo & Bernfeld, LLP know how to protect your best interests at all times.

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may be charged with a crime before law enforcement arrests you. For example, if you are accused of committing a white collar crime that required weeks of surveillance and investigations, police may first obtain a warrant for your arrest. Following are some of the basic steps that occur after you are charged with a crime:

  • Booking — 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.
  • Arraignment — 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 are 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 concerned only 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.
  • Trial — 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?

If you face charges for state crimes, misdemeanors and felonies, retain counsel as soon as possible. An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide you with sound advice regarding any aspect 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.

Criminal defense lawyers shield your rights

We at Bernfeld, DeMatteo & Bernfeld, LLP know that finding your way through the criminal justice system can be confusing. Our lawyers provide you with information about the law and your case at each stage. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer at our firm by calling us at 646-880-4689 or contacting us online.