When a Meridian area resident finds themselves on the other side of the law it can be a scary situation. It may seem like everyone is against them and a defendant may have no idea what will be happening next. A person who has been arrested should understand what happens in the next stage of the criminal justice system.
First court appearance
After a Mississippi resident has been arrested and charged with a crime, their first court appearance will be an arraignment. An arraignment is where a defendant will appear before a judge and the charges will be reviewed. If a judge decides there is probably cause then a defendant will need to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
During the arraignment or preliminary hearing, a judge may set the bail or bond amount. The amount will depend on the crime and the defendant’s criminal history. Bail may not be granted at all if a person commits a serious crime such as murder or rape.
Criminal defense attorney
It is important for those who are facing serious criminal charges to understand that a conviction can have a serious effect on their future. A defendant can be facing substantial fines, jail time and other penalties. They could also have a criminal record that follows them for the rest of their lives. As soon as they are arrested, they should contact an attorney who specializes in criminal defense.
An attorney can provide strong legal defense against all types of criminal charges. They can use the law to their client’s advantage and be proactive in creating a sound defense for their client. The will pursue every option in an effort to get the charges against their client reduced or dismissed.