When you have been accused of a crime, the best thing you can do is work with a criminal attorney like Attorney Lopes who can help you achieve the best, most reasonable outcome possible. With Attorney Lopes, you now have the tools necessary to walk through the following next steps.
After your arrest, you will be booked into a jail cell. At this point, your fingerprints will be taken, as well as a photo. They will also run a background check on you.
Bail or Bond
The bail or bond is the amount set that you will need in order to get you out of jail. The amount of your bond depends on a number of factors, and a magistrate judge generally sets it at your first appearance in front of a judge. Even if you do not have the money, consider your options; have someone in your family contact a bondsman to identify your options, and if the bond seems out of proportion, you should contact a knowledgeable attorney that can lower the bond.
At the preliminary hearing, it is determined whether there is enough evidence on either side to show a crime was committed and reasonable belief that you did it. Attorney Lopes's job at the preliminary hearing is to find the holes in the government's case and begin to create doubt in the case. This is not the time to prove your innocence. However, in Georgia such a hearing may be waived by bonding out of jail. Accordingly, depending upon the type of case, it may not be in your best interest to bond out before this hearing, so call The Lopes Law Firm to plan your defense.
After the government formally accuses you of a crime or offense, the first time in court is known as your arraignment. Motions to protect your constitutional rights must be filed at this time. If you have not hired The Lopes Law Firm yet, make sure you do so by or before the arraignment.
Only about a tenth of all criminal cases go to trial. The other 90% of them are resolved through plea bargains. This is the process by which Attorney Lopes will bargain with the prosecution and perhaps the judge overseeing your case to negotiate a lighter sentence or reduced charges.
If the plea bargains don't sound great, or if you are truly not guilty of the crime you are accused of, it may be your best option to have your case go to trial. There is no real way to know how long your trial will last on, but some last a few days and others can last a few weeks. At the end of your trial, you will either be issued a sentence or may be released. The difference largely lays in the work you and The Lopes Law Firm put into the case to dispute the proof of the government's evidence. It is best to contact Attorney Lopes early in the process.