Getting charged with criminal offenses is traumatizing and not knowing the steps to take after that can make the whole ordeal a scary nightmare. Most people have no an in-depth understanding about criminal offenses apart from what is shown in the news and movies. However, it is not enough to point you in the right direction once you find yourself in the situation. To improve the chances of getting a good outcome, you should do all the right things moving forward. The steps you should take include:
1) Get a criminal attorney
Once you are arrested, you should contact a criminal attorney immediately. Time is of a great essence in this step, and you must hire an attorney quickly. Ensure you remain calm no matter the weight of the charges. Also, do not say anything that can incriminate you especially when your attorney is absent. It is your right to ask for a lawyer. Thus, don’t let the arresting officers or anyone else in the police station intimidate you.
2) Read your prosecution file
The police have to enter all the details on your case in a prosecution file. As the subject, you have a right to read the report. This is best done when your lawyer is present for clarification of difficult or confusing clauses. You should do this before your first court hearing so that you can get all the information to build your defense.
3) Ask for a bail
You can remain in a remand following the arrest or be granted bail. If you go to a remand, you will remain there until your case is heard in court. The time you spend there will be factored in your sentencing. However, you can get a bail and go home until you are required to appear in court. Your lawyer will help you secure a bail, but you should have enough money to pay the set amount at once or use your assets as collateral.
4) Honor the bail conditions
Getting out on bail does not give you the right to do whatever pleases you. There will be conditions and you ought to honor them if you don’t want to be thrown back to the remand. The court will tell you where to live, when to attend court, and the fee to be paid. The judge might add more conditions depending on your case. For example, you may be asked not maintain contact with certain people. The police will clarify all the conditions in case there is something you don’t understand.
5) Appear in Court as required
There are two types of court hearing: the preliminary hearing, and a criminal hearing. You need to be present at both. If you don’t comply, you will have breached your bail conditions. Expect to be arrested and kept in remand until your fate is determined.
Criminal charges are not easy to take in especially if you have never been on the wrong side of the law before. However, panicking, anxiety or crying will not help. Your only hope is to get a great criminal attorney to help you in winning the case. Call our team of experienced attorneys for help.