AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
Being charged with a crime can be a stressful and scary thing to go through. The ramifications for a conviction can have a devastating impact on people, which is only magnified when facing felony charges. Not only does the impact of a criminal sentence affect someone, but the stigma of having a criminal record can continue to affect the person for a long time. Even if the charges are dismissed they can sometimes still be found online or in other records, and can still effect you. One of my main goals as a criminal defense attorney is to help mitigate the impact a criminal charge has on a person, whether it’s by getting the case dismissed, a lower sentence, or trying to make the criminal record eligible to be sealed or expunged.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I’VE BEEN ARRESTED
After a person gets arrested they are entitled to go in front of a judge within 24 hours, so the judge can determine 1) whether or not there is probably cause to detain them; and 2) what conditions can the defendant be released on. If the judge finds there is not probable cause to detain the defendant, then the defendant entitled to unconditional release. Next the case will be referred to the State Attorney’s Office, where an assistant state attorney will decide whether or not to file charges and which charges to file. Once charges are filed the defendant will be arraigned, and decide whether or not to participate in discovery (defendants often times make this decision even before charges are filed). If the defendant chooses to participate in discovery he will be entitled to essentially all the relevant evidence in the State’s possession. In return the defendant will have to hand over any evidence he intends to use in his defense as well. Next the judge will set the case for a pretrial to determined if there is anything that has to be done before the case is set for trial. Often times cases plea at pretrial, or are continued so the defendant can continue to work on the case, or hear a pretrial motion.
WHAT ARE COLLATERAL CONSEQUENCES
Collateral consequences are the consequences that arise from a criminal case as a result of the case. Collateral consequences are not part of the sentence, but can often times have a detrimental effect on a person. The defense bar has counted thousands of collateral consequences that can arise from a criminal case. Sometimes the effect of these collateral consequences are worse then the sentence itself. However there are ways of dealing with collateral consequences that can lessen or virtually eliminate the effect a criminal case can have on you. If you have a criminal case make sure you know about the collateral consequences that come with the case.