You were arrested in California. What can you expect next?

If you have been arrested in California, it is crucial to understand the criminal justice process, your rights, and the steps you need to take to navigate the system effectively. Being charged with a crime can be scary and confusing, but knowing what to expect can help alleviate some of the stress.

First and foremost, it is important to exercise your right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in court. This right to remain silent is designed to protect you from inadvertently incriminating yourself during interactions with law enforcement officials.

Additionally, you have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint a public defender to represent you. It is vital to understand that the legal system is complex, and having a knowledgeable advocate on your side can significantly impact the outcome of your case. Here’s what you need to know and what you need to do following an arrest in California:

under arrest in California
  1. Exercise Your Rights: Make sure to exercise your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney immediately upon arrest. You should be read your Miranda Rights if you are arrested.
  2. Understand the Process: The police will have two options after this point: Releasing you with a promise to appear at a later date, or taking you to jail for booking.
    • If taken into custody, you may be held at the intake release center located in Santa Ana or at a local jail in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, or Irvine. If released on your recognizance, or if you post bail, you will be able to go home, as long as you promise to appear at all future court dates.
    • Bail refers to the money that you will have to pay to the courts in order to be officially released from jail pending your trial. The bail amount is set at the judge’s discretion.
  3. Prepare: What happens next will depend on whether or not you have been accused of a misdemeanor, an infraction, or a felony. Understanding the legal process will help you make more informed decisions about how to proceed with your defense.

Rightly or wrongly, you need an attorney

Whether you believe you have been rightly or wrongly arrested in California, one of the most critical steps you can take is securing representation by an experienced Criminal Defense attorney. The process and timeline following an arrest can be complicated and fast-moving. An attorney will ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way and will guide you through the intricacies of the legal system.

An experienced Criminal Defense attorney can make a significant difference in your case by:

  • Advising you on the best course of action
  • Negotiating bail and terms of release
  • Gathering evidence and building a strong defense
  • Representing you in court

This is just a general overview of the criminal process, as every case is different. Remember, the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney are not just formalities – they are crucial tools at your disposal to ensure a fair process. Do not underestimate the importance of legal advice during this time.

From free consultation to client

If arrested in California, specifically in Orange County, the journey from being criminally charged to becoming a client of a defense attorney begins with a free consultation. This initial meeting is your opportunity to talk to someone today about the direction and advice you need for your case. During the consultation, you can expect to discuss the types of evidence in criminal cases that are relevant to your situation and receive guidance on the next steps.

This free consultation is a no-obligation chance for you to understand how an attorney can help you navigate the legal challenges ahead. It’s also an opportunity for the attorney to evaluate the strength of your case and advise you on the best way to proceed. Remember, the sooner you seek legal advice, the better prepared you will be to face the charges against you.