What to Expect From The Legal Process in Prince William County
If charged with a criminal offense in Prince William County, here’s what you should know according to Prince William criminal defense lawyer Matthew Crowley. Call today to discuss your case and learn how your charges can be minimized most effectively.
What to Expect During the Arrest Process
The first thing that happens over the course of an arrest is that a person is going to be detained. Typically they’re going to be placed in handcuffs and then transported in a police vehicle either to a police station or to a detention center.
The next step in the process is that they will have a hearing before a magistrate judge. In some cases, the magistrate judge will hear evidence from the law enforcement officer and will issue warrants. In other cases, a person may have already been served with a warrant which was previously issued.
In either case, the magistrate judge will then make an initial determination as to whether the individual will be admitted to bail or whether they are going to be held without bail until a full bond hearing can be had before a General District Court judge.
Are You Charged When You’re Arrested?
You are not charged at the time of your arrest unless a summons or warrant has been served on you. In some cases, police will serve an arrest warrant at the time of the arrest. In that case, you have been charged. In other cases, there is no warrant which has yet been issued and the police are arresting you and bringing you for before a magistrate for the purpose of having a warrant issued.
Once a warrant issues and you have been served with it, at that point, you have been charged with a crime.
Getting in Contact With An Attorney
The best way to get in contact with lawyers generally is going to be by telephone. My law office has someone available to answer the telephone twenty four hours a day seven days a week and they’re always able to contact me. If you are charged with a criminal offense, if you’ve been arrested and at the point that you’re able to make a phone call or that you are released, you should call a lawyer’s office right away and talk to someone as soon as you possibly can.
What to Expect After Charges Are Filed
After charges are issued and after a person has been served with either a summons or arrest warrant, the first thing that will happen after they have been released or served with that summons or warrant is that there will be an initial hearing.
In many cases, there is a first hearing where an individual is apprised of the right to counsel and in other cases, the first hearing will be a hearing with a lawyer present and the matter is set for trial at that time. In yet other cases, the very first hearing is the trial. This is something that a lawyer can analyze and give you more information about depending on the particular charge.
Other things that happen in the course of the case include the lawyer gaining as much information as they can about the case, extensively interviewing the client along with any witnesses which may be helpful. The lawyer will frequently attempt to interview police officers either before the day of court or on the day of court.
And last, there are frequently conversations with the prosecutor prior to the time of trial to attempt to resolve the charge in a way that it is favorable to the defendant.