Being placed under arrest, for any reason, is probably one of the most terrifying experiences you will have in your life. You may not know what to expect and feel alone and afraid. You have probably heard people being read their rights on television shows and in movies, and for the most part, that is how it works. U.S. law requires that you are read your rights as part of the arrest process. These rights are also known as your Miranda warnings because they stem from a specific U.S. Supreme Court Case, Miranda v. Arizona.
What are Miranda Warnings?
Miranda warnings must be read to you whenever you are in custody. Stopping or detaining you temporarily is not the same, but if it leads to an arrest, the officer must read you your rights. Your rights include:
- Right to remain silent
- Anything you say can be used in court
- You have the right to have an attorney with you when you answer questions
- If you speak to law enforcement you may stop whenever you want and request an attorney
You must be provided these warnings before an interrogation. Many people wonder if their case will be thrown out if the arresting officer failed to read them their rights. The answer is somewhat complex. If you were not read your rights and you said something that implicates you in a crime, it may be possible to have this confession be inadmissible as evidence. However, there is likely other evidence in the case that will remain.
What Happens After an Arrest?
After you are arrested, you will be placed in jail pending your first appearance or hearing. At this time you will go in front of a judge. The exact charges against you will be provided, at which time the judge will ask for a plea. You can plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest. During this short hearing, the judge will also set your bail. It is advantageous to have your attorney present or consult with him prior to the hearing.
The judge will also set a date for the next hearing. If you enter a plea of guilty, you could be sentenced immediately or at a subsequent hearing. When a defendant pleads not guilty or no contest, another hearing date will be set. Your attorney will be instrumental in guiding you through the process.
Call an Experienced Brevard County Criminal Attorney
In addition to answering your questions, your Brevard County criminal attorney will work to try to get your charges reduced or eliminated prior to your hearing. This may be possible if the district attorney feels that there is not enough evidence in the case to substantiate a successful prosecution. Your lawyer will also request that you are released without having to post bail or that bail is set at a low enough amount that you can pay it. The judge may look at various factors when deciding bail, including the severity of the charges, your previous criminal history, your employment status, and whether you have been an upstanding member of the community.
Facing criminal charges can be frightening, but you do not have to go it alone. Remember that you are innocent until proven guilty. Your lawyer will work hard to protect your rights and defend the charges against you to help resolve the case in the best way possible. Contact the skilled Brevard County criminal attorneys at Henderson Legal Group to discuss your case today.