I was recently involved in a car accident. Unfortunately, since it was my first accident, I was scatter-brained and anxious. What I did not realize at the time was that the actions you take immediately after the accident can affect a personal injury case and the outcome of that case. I wanted to find a way to share my experiences and mistakes with other. Since the Internet is so popular, I figured this would be a great way to do so. While you likely aren't planning on being in an accident soon, if you are, hopefully you remember some of the tips I share on this website.
An arrest is usually the first step in the process of criminal charges, and an arrest can occur through a warrant issued by the court or through the police finding you in the act of a crime. After you are arrested, there are four main things that will occur as you face the charges the court has filed against you.
You May Get the Option to Pay Bail
First of all, in most cases, people who are arrested for crimes do not have to stay in jail during the legal process. Instead, they are often able to pay cash to get out of jail, and this is referred to as bail. Bail is something you can pay on your own if you have money, or it is something you can pay by hiring a bail bondsman to assist you. In either case, bail allows you a way out of jail before settling your criminal charges with the court.
You Will Attend an Initial Hearing
Within a few days after your arrest, you will have a scheduled initial hearing to attend for your crime, and you must attend this. If you are in jail still, the jail will take you to court. If you are out on bail, you must make sure you go yourself. At this hearing, you will learn more about the charges against you and will be advised of your rights.
You Will Have the Option of Hiring a Lawyer
One of the rights you have is to hire legal counsel to assist you in the case, and this means that you can hire a criminal lawyer. You could go through your case without a lawyer, as you have this right too, but this is not recommended, as a lawyer will help you learn your rights and assist you in making decisions as to how to handle your case.
You Will Go Through Steps of the Legal Process
Finally, you will go through steps of the legal process. Settling a criminal case can happen quickly in some cases, but it can take months or years in others. There are many different steps in a criminal case and settling your case may require multiple court hearings.
If you are stuck in jail or if you are out on bail, you should begin looking for a criminal law lawyer to hire right away. If you do not have a criminal lawyer hired yet, this should be your main goal before attending your court hearings.