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What to Expect if You Are Arrested

After an arrest for any type of criminal offense, your first priority is to retain the services of a criminal defense attorney. A car accident attorney will ensure that your legal rights are upheld, evaluate the merits of the evidence against you, and help you navigate the criminal justice system. Although your specific experience may vary slightly, you can generally expect that after you are arrested you will be booked and arraigned.

Arrest and Booking

Once you have been arrested, you will be taken to the local police station for booking. You will be informed of your Miranda rights and your personal possessions will be taken. In exchange, you will be issued a voucher, which lets you claim your possessions upon your release. You will be asked to provide certain information such as your full name, address, and other identifying information. You should be honest when disclosing identifying information, but you should not answer any questions about the alleged offense until you speak with your criminal defense attorney. Your photograph will be taken and your fingerprints will be recorded. You will then be placed in a jail cell until your arraignment.

Arraignment

The arraignment is a procedure in a courtroom, during which the charges will be formally read. You will be asked to enter your plea of either guilty or not guilty. Your criminal defense attorney will almost certainly advise you to plead not guilty at this time. Entering a guilty plea can compromise your attorney’s ability to negotiate a plea deal on your behalf. Before you leave the courtroom, the judge may decide to authorize your release on bail.

Trial

Unless you agreed to a plea deal, your case will go to trial. If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor offense, you will likely have a bench trial, rather than a jury trial. In a bench trial, the judge hears the evidence and rules on your case. The outcome of the trial for a felony offense is determined by a panel of jurors.

Should you have any questions about the criminal justice procedure in Virginia, the Johnson Law Firm is here to help. New and current clients can schedule a meeting with our criminal defense attorney in Woodbridge, VA, by calling (703) 986-0560. Our client-focused law firm also provides representation in slip and fall accidents and wrongful death attorney services for surviving family members.