Brigantine, NJ Attorney for a Criminal Arraignment
After being arrested for a crime, many people find themselves in a terrified daze, unsure what is about to happen to them and too frightened to do anything about it. Especially if you have no prior experience with the criminal justice system, you probably will have no idea what you or your loved ones should do first to protect your rights and fight back against the charges filed against you. If you are told you are going to have an arraignment, you might not know what this means.
It is vital that, despite being scared, you or your loved ones work to get you an experienced criminal defense lawyer like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych as soon as possible to represent you at your arraignment and beyond. The faster our attorneys can get to work on your case, the more likely we are to bring it to a quick and successful resolution. For a free consultation, contact our office today at (609) 616-4956.
The Pre-Arraignment Process in Brigantine, NJ
Sometimes, for minor crimes like infractions, the police will simply issue you a citation with a court date on it for your arraignment and then send you on your way. Most of the time when the police believe you have committed a crime, however, you will be arrested. If an officer personally sees you commit a crime or otherwise has probable cause to believe you committed it, they can arrest you on the spot without a warrant. Otherwise, there will be a police investigation into the matter, and when the police believe they have enough evidence to arrest you, they will apply for an arrest warrant. If the judge grants the warrant, they will come to your home or place of business and place you under arrest.
After your arrest, you will be transported to the local police station for your booking. The booking process entails you being photographed and fingerprinted and the police collecting your biographical information. Once you have been booked, you will be held either in the station’s holding cell or at the local jail until your bail hearing is held, typically within 48 hours.
The Criminal Arraignment in Brigantine, NJ
The criminal arraignment is a short proceeding where the judge reads the charges against you, advises you of your rights during the criminal case, and asks whether you would like to plead guilty or not guilty. In cases where you are charged with a disorderly persons offense, New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor, the arraignment will occur in municipal court at or around the same time as your bail hearing. For those charged with the more serious indictable offenses, New Jersey’s version of felonies, your bail hearing will be held in the municipal court, but the arraignment will not occur until later in the superior court, after an indictment has been issued.
If you were issued a ticket with an arraignment date on it and let go, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney like those at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych right away, as we can try to get in touch with the prosecutor and work out a deal to get the whole matter resolved on the same date as the arraignment. For those who face a bail hearing, you will also want to retain counsel quickly so you are represented at this vital hearing where the judge will decide whether or not you can be released while the case is resolved. Our lawyers know how to make the best arguments that you are not a public safety threat and deserve to be released to your home. If you are facing your arraignment at the same time, as often occurs in a disorderly persons offense case, we are likely to advise you to enter an initial plea of not guilty while we collect evidence and assess the strength of the case against you.
For indictable offense cases, after the bail hearing the prosecutor will take their evidence before the grand jury, a group of 23 citizens who will decide by majority vote if there is enough evidence there to proceed with a case against you. If they decide that there is, they will issue an indictment. It is then that you will be arraigned in the superior court. Much like with disorderly persons offense cases, we are likely to advise you to plead not guilty so we have more time to work on the case.
The Post-Arraignment Process in Brigantine, NJ
After the arraignment, your lawyer will request all the prosecution’s evidence through the discovery process. Then, if you wish us to, we will typically begin negotiating a potential plea deal with the prosecutor. For those with a clean criminal record, we can try to get you entered into a pre-trial intervention program. If you complete this program successfully, the charges against you will be dismissed. If pre-trial intervention is not a possibility in your case, we can try to work out a deal where your charges are downgraded or the prosecutor recommends a more lenient sentence in exchange for you pleading guilty and not taking the matter to trial.
Of course, if you do not wish to take a deal, our attorneys are always prepared to take your case to trial and fight for your innocence. If you are charged with an indictable offense, you will have the right to a trial by jury in the superior court. However, all trials in the municipal court system are bench trials, where the judge gives the verdict on guilt or innocence. If you are charged with a disorderly persons offense in the municipal court, then, the trial will be before a judge, not a jury.
Call Our Experienced Brigantine, NJ Attorneys for a Criminal Arraignment Today
Being charged with a time can be scary and confusing, especially if you are going through the process alone. At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our compassionate Brigantine, NJ attorneys for a criminal arraignment will be with you every step of the way to advise you, answer your questions, and fight for the best possible outcome to your case. We will leave no stone unturned in working to get your charges downgraded or dismissed. Call us today at (609) 616-4956 for a free consultation.