Oh man Mr. Mason I just got arrested! What is going to happen to me now?
Booking After arrest you will be taken to the police station for booking. It is the formal process of making a police record of the arrest. Will be asked information, fingerprinted, photographed. Possibly might include DNA or drug tests.
Arraignment If it is a felony case you will have an arraignment hearing. You will be advised of what you are being accused of. Depending on the nature of the crime this may occur at the same time as the plea hearing
Bail An arrested person can usually be released from prison on bail, except in certain circumstances such as seriousness of crime or flight risk. Bail paid directly to court as insurance that person will show up for court. May need to put up entire amount or a percent of total.
Bail If you do not show up for court the bail bond is forfeited. If you can not afford you bond you may want to locate a bail bonding company
Bail Bonds A bail bonding company will put up your bond in exchange for a fee. For example a defendant with a bond of $2,000 may be released after paying $200 to a bonding company. If you do not show up the company will be out the entire bond and then they will send the dog after you.
Personal Recognizance The judge may release you based on your promise to return for court. In considering this request the judge would look at the type of crime, ties to the community and other factors. Can be other requirements such as get and maintain a job
Arguments for and against bail –For a. b. –Against A. B.
Preliminary Hearing This is a screening device. It is used to evaluate whether or not there is enough evidence to have a trial. Guilt or innocence is not decided here. Judge is looking for probable cause Case can still go to a grand jury
Grand Jury Is a group of 16-23 people charged with deciding if there is enough evidence that a person committed a crime for them to stand trial. In order for you to stand trial there must be a grand jury indictment
Only the prosecutor can present evidence or call witnesses. A defendant and his lawyers may not be present. All that is needed is a majority of the jury
Plea hearing/ Felony Arraignment After you are indicted you will be required to appear in court and enter a plea. If you plead guilty the judge will schedule a sentencing hearing. If you plead not guilty the judge will set a trial date and ask if you want a jury or bench trial.
Pretrial motions Motion- a formal request for a court to make a ruling or take an action. Examples- discovery of evidence, continuance, change of venue, dismiss charges, and suppress evidence
Exclusionary Rule Allows the judge to throw out evidence if it was gained illegally
Plea Bargaining Most criminal cases never go to trial In felony cases this will sometimes occur when the prosecution and defense make a deal for the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge. Allows the government to avoid the time and expense of a long trial. Defendant may get a lighter sentence.