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White Plains Criminal Defense Lawyer - Attorney John M. Cromwell
Criminal Defense Attorney, Defending the Accused for Over 23 Years
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The Criminal Process

The first step in the criminal process is when you become a suspect for a crime. This may be a smaller event such as driving with a blood alcohol content level over the legal limit. It may also be dealing with accusations that constitute a felony. Police will need reason to do so but once they obtain that then they will make an arrest. Sufficient reason for an arrest involves having a warrant or observing the crime. The officer that makes the arrest will need to read the Miranda rights which will state important rights that you have such as obtaining an attorney or choosing to remain silent rather than speak with police. This is often one of the best rights to exercise since it can allow you to avoid saying something you don't mean, that is taken incorrectly and the meaning twisted or that can later be used against you. Booking comes after the arrest and this is when personal information is taken, you are fingerprinted and any personal items you have on you at the time are held by law enforcement. A full body search is given in order to make sure there are no items that are missed.

The arraignment comes next and this should take place within about 24 hours for the normal week but will be extended if the arrest is during the weekend. The arraignment is when you are formally read the charges that have been made against you. At this point you will be asked if you plead guilty, not guilty or no contest. Bail will also be set at this point and it is a right of those in America for this to be done at a reasonable amount compared to the crime. Bail is the amount that must be paid in order to be released from jail. It is given to the court with the agreement that you will return back on the schedule date of your trial. By not returning, you forfeit having the bail amount returned to you. In some cases bail will not be set and this is often when the suspect is believed to be a threat to society or themselves, or it is believed that they will leave town after they are released. Whether a person remains in jail or they are released, the case will continue on and the next phase will often include the plea bargain. This is when your attorney negotiates with the prosecution to attempt to find a settlement that you can all agree on. If this is impossible, then the case will continue on.

When a charge goes to court, both sides will begin to build their case by gathering any relevant evidence that can be used. For felony cases, the Grand Jury will conduct a proceeding and will determine if they find there is sufficient evidence for the case to continue. Misdemeanor and felony charges can be handled differently, but both can lead to significant repercussions. They need to be dealt with by an attorney that recognizes how to correctly and effectively take them on. Once a verdict is given in a case, there may still be the chance to appeal the decision if you believe that you having been wrongfully accused or punished more harshly than what the crime deserves. Are you dealing with misdemeanor or felony charges? At my firm, a Bronx criminal defense lawyer can fight for you and aggressively seek to guard your rights. Call today and get started as soon as possible protecting your future.

Categories: Criminal Defense


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Law Office of John M. Cromwell - White Plains Criminal Attorney
Located at 177 E. 161st St., Bronx, NY 10451.
Phone: (888) 372-9209.
Local: (914) 725-0700.
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