After Arrest for Felony, You are Faced with Many Decisions that Could Impact the Result of Your Case.
Arrest can be one of the scariest events in an individual's life. It is a situation designed to make you feel helpless and alone. Rest assured, you are not alone and there are many resources available to you. Most important is to expedite your freedom by posting BAIL.
The cost of bail can vary depending on your criminal record and the charges against you. For example, most marijuana-related cases start with a bond of $20,000 and can go up indefinitely from there. More serious offenses, such as assault with a fire arm, start at $50,000. Click here for the felony bail bond schedule.
If you do get arrested, there are many great bail-bonds companies. The percentage they take can vary and usually if you have a relationship with them or with a skilled attorney you can get a lower rate.
In most cases, posting bail is pretty straightforward. Since marijuana sales is a narcotics offense, however, the court can require you demonstrate that your bail funds are coming from a legitimate source before allowing you to post bond. This is a bail hearing under Penal Code § 1275 and can be very complicated. If you get a 1275 hold on your bail, the speed of your release very much depends on the skill of your attorney.
CHARGES AGAINST YOU
Oftentimes, police officers will threaten you or reassure you with statements about the charges against you. Do not be deceived. This can be a interrogation tactic or just bad information. It is the duty of the officer to gather evidence against you and it is the duty of the prosecuting attorney to decide the charges. Therefore, the charges against you are often times less serious than the policeman asserts.
PREVENTING THE FILING OF CHARGES.
If you hire a lawyer immediately after your arrest, that lawyer may be able to get the case thrown out before you even have to go to court. This will save you time, stress and money.
FIRST COURT DATE: ARRAIGNMENT.
After you've posted bail, you will be scheduled for your first court hearing, called an arraignment. This is where you will enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. This is also where your lawyer will get a copy of the police report and the charges against you. The police report and the “complaint” (the document that states the charges against you) will allow your lawyer to assess your case and present form a strategy for defenses and possibly a plea agreement.
Before you actually have a hearing, your lawyer should engage in several negotiation talks with the prosecuting attorney to either get the case dismissed or get the best possible plea agreement. This is when your lawyer will also file motions for the suppression of evidence or the dismissal of the case. A lawyer must investigate every avenue of your case in order to obtain the best result possible.
Oftentimes, a preliminary hearing can be successful if you have a defense or if the police acted illegally.
PUTTING ON AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE
An affirmative defense is complicated and intricate. They can range from self-defense, necessity, justification, medical marijuana defense, and the list goes on any on. Every case is different, and a skilled lawyer must determine which approach best suits you.
SUPPRESSION OF EVIDENCE. Penal Code §1538.5
If a police officer violated your constitutional rights by
1) interrogating you outside the presence of a lawyer, 2) searching your home, your car or your person without a warrant, without probable cause or without your consent, or 3) arresting you without cause,
the law requires that any evidence found during the investigation be excluded from the judge's consideration. This type of ruling can get your entire case thrown out, and that's why it is imperative that you have adequate legal defense.