Top 2 Things You Need To Know After Getting Arrested

Man in handcuffs after being arrestedThere are few events in life that are as traumatic as being arrested for a crime.  In a split moment, you go from being a free person to a prisoner in handcuffs and chains, taken away from your home, family, and friends and locked up in a jail.  Everything that was yours is taken away: your freedom, your clothes, and your identification.  You feel disoriented, scared and helpless.

Let me tell you a little bit about “the system” and what to do if you have been arrested, because the only thing that will beat back disorientation, fear, and helplessness is you knowing how “the system” works and having the right criminal defense attorney. If you have been arrested, call The Rodriguez Law Group immediately to discuss your case.

First Thing to Know:  What Happens After You Get Arrested

The first thing to know is what will happen to you after you are arrested for a felony. Once you are in custody, the government has 2 court days (that means business days, so holidays and weekends are not included) to bring you in front of a judge for Arraignment. At Arraignment, you will enter a plea of “Not Guilty,” and two hearing dates will be automatically set.

Felony Settlement Conference

The first hearing date will be set in 5 court days from the Arraignment, and is usually called a Felony Settlement Conference or “FSC,” for short (different counties have different names for it). The FSC gives your criminal defense lawyer and the D.A. an opportunity to try to settle your case.

Preliminary Hearing

The next court date, usually 8 or 9 court days after your Arraignment, will be the Preliminary Hearing. At the Preliminary Hearing, the D.A. is required to present to an impartial judge the evidence that he has, and must prove that he has met a burden of probable cause. At the Preliminary Hearing your lawyer has the opportunity and the duty to cross-examine the government’s witnesses and to make motions to exclude prejudicial evidence in order to attempt to have the case dismissed by the judge.

Held To Answer

If the judge finds that the government has met its burden of proof at the Preliminary Hearing, he will issue an order that you be “Held to Answer.” This means that you will be arraigned again within 10 court days and that the D.A. will file an Information. After you are arraigned on the Information, the D.A. will have 60 calendar days to bring your case to trial.

Please keep in mind that all of the timelines that I gave are based on you exercising your constitutional rights to a speedy trial.  You can “waive time” and stretch out the process, and the timeline can change. Only you in consultation with your criminal defense attorney can decide whether or not to “waive time.” There are many strategic reasons to “waive time,” and it is almost always done to benefit you and the preparation of your defense.

Second Thing to Know:  Always Remain Silent

The second thing I want to discuss is what you must do while you are in jail or out on bail waiting for your case to be resolved. You MUST remain silent. Speak to no one, ever. Obviously, that includes the police. They are not your friends, they will not help you, they are in fact conspiring against you and doing everything they can to build a case against you.

When you are read your Miranda Rights and are told that “everything you say can and will be used against you,” that is the absolute truth. So, DO NOT speak to any police officer or detective. If it will help you to speak to the police, it will only be with your attorney present. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Remaining silent also applies to everyone else. That means everyone, and in all possible ways in which we communicate.

The most common way in which people get themselves in trouble is by talking about their case when they are on the phone in jail. Do NOT ever talk about your case on a jail call. Ever. To anyone. Not even in a foreign language. Whatever language you speak, someone at the District Attorney’s office speaks it; especially Spanish.

So do not talk about your case on a jail call. Also, do not ever talk about your case while you are incarcerated. I understand that you may be confused and want to talk about your case, but you cannot trust anyone inside.

What I just discussed are just some of the basics concerning your rights and what you should if you are arrested. Please call me for a free one-hour consultation so we can discuss your case and what the best strategies are in order to defend you from the government.

Hire a Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer to Protect Your Rights
If you or a loved one has been arrested or is under investigation, it is important to contact an attorney to protect your rights.  The Rodriguez Law Group is available to assist you in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside County, Ventura County, San Bernardino County, and Santa Barbara County.

As a former prosecutor, I understand that dealing with the criminal justice system is overwhelming. You will need a criminal defense lawyer who will fight for your rights and seek to obtain the best possible outcome. I know how the criminal justice system works and will use my experience to aggressively represent your interests. Call me so that we can discuss a criminal defense strategy to meet your needs.