Charged With a Criminal Offense? What To Do Next
March 20, 2023
Things can get out of hand, and horrible mistakes can happen. If you or someone you know got arrested for a misdemeanor in Virginia or first-time felony charges, you probably want to know what to do next. Continue to learn what to do after being charged with a criminal offense in this article with Rudolphi Law, your trusted Virginia criminal defense lawyer.
What Is a Criminal Offense?
Let us start with the basic definition of what a criminal offense is. It is when you violate federal, state, or municipal criminal law, resulting in an arrest or technical arrest (release on summons). Every state has different classification of crimes, felony or misdemeanor, and the maximum sentence for each.
What Should You Do After Being Charged With a Criminal Offense?
If you were charged with a misdemeanor in Virginia, there are a few things you should do next, which should always start with exercising your rights and hiring a Fairfax criminal attorney.
Exercise Your Rights
While it is best to remain polite and calm, you have the right to remain silent. You hear it all the time on your favorite criminal TV show and in the movies, but it is not fictional. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution allows everyone to remain silent to prevent any further incrimination.
If you do not want to answer questions while in custody, politely and calmly say you will not answer anything without having a lawyer present. Let the police know you are exercising your Miranda Rights. Make it clear and unequivocal.
Choose the Right Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyer
Choosing the right lawyer to handle your case is critical, as you are looking at a permanent record and possibly a good amount of jail time. Charges can range from a class four misdemeanor or serious criminal felony charges. So choose someone with experience who will work hard to get you the lightest sentence possible.
Arrest Warrant & Turning Yourself In
Is there a warrant for your arrest? Contact a Fairfax criminal attorney to help with the next steps. Our team will contact the authorities that issued the warranty to discuss the next steps to ensure they go as smoothly as possible. We are on your side and will help you do things on your terms.
Once released, you will have to appear in court. Bail bonds work to secure our appearance in court, and if you fail to appear, you are forfeiting that money. Failure to appear in court, or jumping bail, can also lead to a warrant being issued for your arrest, which would further aggravate your case.
Your Arraignment or Court Hearing
During your arraignment, you are advised about your right to an attorney to ensure you understand everything about your case. Some jurisdictions allow you to be absent from this hearing if you have already hired an attorney to represent you. Speak with your attorney, so you are fully aware of what is happening and what you are getting into.
Your Plea Bargain
Not every case goes to trial. In fact, very few actually do. This is largely because of plea bargaining. This is where your attorney and the prosecutor discuss the evidence in a case and try to resolve the matter. Discuss everything with your attorney, who will advise you on whether or not the plea bargain is the best decision to make. Your attorney will discuss things with any witnesses and speak with the prosecutor to ensure that a plea bargain is an appropriate option to consider. Ultimately, any going to trial or taking a plea deal would be your decision as the client. At Rudolphi Law, we have one of the top Virginia criminal defense lawyers working hard for clients. Whether you are facing a first-time criminal offense, misdemeanor or felony, in Virginia, we can help you. We will answer your questions and provide the legal advice needed to ensure you are making the best decision for your situation. Give us a call today.