If you are in trouble with the law you might be worried about the process. Most people don't understand how the process works and because of that they make costly mistakes and get themselves into more trouble. Here are a couple things that you need to know so that you are prepared in the case that you are arrested.
1. You Can Be Arrested Without Being Formally Charged
It is important to know that you can be arrested without actually having charges brought against you. The police just have to have a valid reason to suspect you are guilty of some sort of crime. Then once they arrest you they only have a certain amount of time to hold you until they press actual charges. If they can't find enough evidence to press charges then they have to let you go.
This process is very important to understand. Right after you are arrested there is a good chance they are going to want to question you. This is why it is critical that you request a lawyer. Even if you think you won't be formally charged you never want to go through this process without an attorney. So before you answer any questions make sure you request an attorney so that you are protected.
This is for your own protection. Anything you say after being arrested can be used against you in court. You might even think you are helping your case but you are really hurting it by talking to the police. This is why you need to meet with a lawyer and allow them to advise you your next move.
2. If You Are Charged There Will Be An Arraignment
If you are formally charged there will be an arraignment shortly following the arrest. This is where you will plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty you will be sentenced immediately. You might even be able to take a deal from the prosecutor's office.
However, if you plead not guilty then the process for a trial begins. Bail will be set and if you can pay bail you won't have to wait in jail. The time between your arraignment and your trial will consist of the attorney gathering evidence to exonerate you, while the state makes a case against you.
Throughout this whole process it is vital that you have a good criminal defense attorney who has experience in criminal law defending you. Without proper representation there is no telling what could go wrong.