- Don’t panic
- Don’t be intimidated
Even if you suspect being accused, charged or investigated with a crime, speak to an attorney immediately.
Law enforcement will try to gather as much evidence as possible to build their case against you. Investigators often say they have witnesses or DNA evidence against you – this is not always true.
In this preliminary stage of the process, having the best criminal defense lawyer is crucial. During this period, you do not have the protection of the Miranda Rights. * If charges are filed, having Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney, David Elden representing you, will ensure that your Constitutional Rights will be protected.
Whether a Federal Agency or State Law Enforcement Agency is involved in your case, David Elden can help and has done so for over 35 years. He is there for you offering genuine concern, complete knowledge and expert advice – and has the resources to do it all. ARRESTED? NOW WHAT?
- Call a Lawyer as soon as possible
- Do Not Answer Questions or Sign Anything
An arrest can be made if a criminal act is witnessed by an officer or if there is reasonable cause to believe a criminal act was committed.
The defendant is always handcuffed and searched and the officers are entitled to seize any contraband or evidence.
The defendant will be transported to a police station or initial processing and booking. Miranda rights* are given before the defendant is asked questions. ANYTHING that the defendant says in the presence of a police officer might be used against them. Anyone arrested should be extremely careful about what is said while in custody.
Despite an officer’s claims that cooperation will make things easier for the defendant, the person arrested should ask to call an attorney as soon as possible and refuse to answer any questions or sign anything…
* Miranda Rights: “You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.” WHAT NEXT? It is critical to have an attorney present at all stages of the prosecutorial process; call David Elden today for a free consultation (800) 455-6200.
- Booking: After you’re arrested, the police will bring you to the police station for the booking process. You’ll be fingerprinted and asked a series of questions, such as your name and date of birth. You’ll also be searched and photographed. Your personal property such as jewelry will be catalogued and stored.
- Arraignment: The first appearance before a judge where a criminal defendant is formally notified of the charges being filed. If you’re held in jail, your arraignment will usually occur within 72 hours of your arrest. During your arraignment, you’ll be asked to enter a plea to the crime charged against you.
- Bail Hearing: During the arraignment or in a separate hearing, the Judge may decide if the defendant will be released from jail until the time of trial. The court may:
- Set bail
- Refuse to set bail
- Release you on your own personal recognizance, which means the court takes your word you’ll appear when necessary for later court dates
- Plea Bargaining: A plea agreement is a deal in which the prosecutor offers an incentive, like a shorter sentence or reduced charges, if the defendant agrees to plead guilty or “no contest.” If you don’t reach a plea agreement with the prosecutor, your proceedings move toward the trial stage.
- Trial: A formal investigation before a court or jury determining whether the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Sentencing: A judge will determine your punishment or sentence if you plead “guilty” or “no contest” or you are “found guilty” in a trial. In deciding your sentence, the judge may consider:
- Guidelines or laws requiring specific penalties for crimes
- Pre-sentence reports prepared by probation officers or court personnel
- Evidence you provide to show mitigating circumstances or reasons to apply a less severe penalty
- Information provided by the victims of the crime