Following The Arrest
Following The Arrest
Jeffrey K. Rubenstein (Criminal Defense Attorney) gives expert video advice on: Am I really restricted to one phone call once I am in jail?; What happens if I don't show up for my court date? and more...
What will happen to me after I am arrested and booked?
After you are arrested and booked you have 72 hours to be charged. The police will write a report based on the incident for which you were arrested. They will then take that, along with any evidence, and they will present it to a district attorney. A district attorney will review the police report, they will look for any statements you've made, and they will look at your prior record. Based on those things, they will decide if or what charges to file against you. Within 72 hours, you will be brought to court, charges will be filed or dropped, and you will be arraigned on those charges.
Am I really restricted to one phone call once I am in jail?
The one phone call in jail is another one of the urban myths. You may or may not be permitted to make a phone call. Generally, out of courtesy, the police will allow you to make one phone call. Often there are phones in the jail and people can make as many phone calls as they want as long as there's somebody to accept collect charges.
What is an "arraignment"?
An arraignment is when you are brought before a magistrate or a judge and charges are read against you. During this arraignment you are allowed to do one of three things: you can plead not guilty, you can plead guilty, or you can plead no contest. Generally, the arraignment is the place where you plead not guilty. It is also where the magistrate can set bail.
What is an "indictment"?
An indictment is when a grand jury - which is a private body of jurors - or the prosecutor brings evidence. When nobody else is present when the grand jury issues charges against you, that is called an indictment. It is rarely used at the state level.
What is an "alibi defense"?
There are a couple of alibi defenses. An alibi is: "I didn't do it, I was somewhere else." A typical alibi is the mom. A mom says, "He was with me." Those aren't very valid defenses because we know that mothers will always lie. An alibi defense is generally when you were somewhere else and you can prove you were somewhere else. If you were on an airplane or in another country or city, that's a good alibi defense. "I was at my mom's house" is not so good.
What is a "disclosure statement"?
During the course of a criminal trial, there is what they call the discovery process. The discovery process means the people, or the prosecutor, has to turn over all of the evidence and all of the statements they have against the defendent to the defense attorney. This is a constitutional right.
What is a "deposition"?
A deposition is something in a civil case where the attorney is allowed to ask the other parties questions, under oath, in the presence of a court reporter. Deposition is not used in the criminal process.
What is legal "discovery process"?
Now in many jurisdictions the discovery process is mutual. The discovery process is where both sides have to turn over any evidence and statements that they have. Usually the discovery process is the prosecution turning over evidence against the defendant to the defense.
What is a "bench warrant"?
A bench warrant is when someone generally doesn't appear in court when they have been ordered to appear. The judge will set a bail amount and issue a bench warrant, which means a warrant goes out into the system for the amount the judge set. If you fail to show up on driving without a license, the judge can set a $15, bench warrant, which means if you ever come into contact with the police and they run you and see you have a warrant, they will pick you up and the amount on your head will be $15,. That will assure your appearance in court. You will then either be brought before the magistrate, or you can post bond with a bondsman and get out. Then, if you don't show up again, the court gets paid $15,.
What happens if I don't show up for my court date?
If you don't show up for your court date, a variety of things can happen. If you have posted bail, you will lose that bail amount if you don't show up for your court date. If you have promised to appear, the judge can then issue a bench warrant and you will be arrested on that bench warrant. They don't like it when you don't show up to court. Its always a good idea to show up in court and its always a good idea to have a lawyer present for that.
What is a "subpoena"?
A subpoena is a written document to procure the presence of a witness or documents at a court hearing. If you have received a subpoena, it is official document from the court. You're supposed to be there. You should show up.