Former Criminal Prosecutor Veteran Owned and Run
Criminal Defense, Estate Planning and Probate Lawyers. Handling cases in Orange County, Seminole, Volusia, Clearwater, and surrounding areas
Daytona: 140 South Beach St., Suite 310, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
Winter Park: 2281 Lee Rd., Suite 102, Winter Park, FL 32789
Clearwater: 235 N. Garden Ave., Clearwater, FL 33755
Lake Mary: 1540 International Pkwy, Suite 2000, Lake Mary, FL 32746
(407) 270- 3724 firstname.lastname@example.org
Arrested, Now What?
You've been arrested in Florida, now what?
Law enforcement is in charge of investigating crime. They don't choose what you get charged with, with the exception of some criminal traffic charges, or whether you are formally charged with a crime. After the initial investigation, which may or may not involve an arrest, if law enforcement believe they have probable cause to believe you committed a crime, the case package is forwarded to the prosecuting authority, usually the local Office of the State Attorney, for a formal charging decision.
After the initial investigation, the prosecuting authority, usually the local Office of the State Attorney, will make a formal charging decision. Trained prosecutors will make the decision as to what you are charged with if anything. Sometimes this happens immediately after you are arrested or investigated, but sometimes this process can take weeks or even months.
Should you hire an attorney now?
You should definitely speak to an attorney. If you can't afford to hire a private attorney, then you are entitled to have an attorney appointed, usually a public defender. Public defenders are often experienced competent attorneys. However, you will likely not be able to choose your public defender and they are often spread thin to the extent that they can't communicate as often as a private attorney may be. If you haven't been formally charged, you may have a difficult time discussing your case with a public defender.
If you have been charged or may be charged with a crime, you should immediately schedule a consultation with a criminal defense attorney to discuss your case and your options. Most criminal defense attorneys allow a free of charge initial consultation. There may be ways to resolve your case that result in your case never being formally charged, dismissed, or to have adjudication of guilty withheld.
Once you hire an attorney, you may not be required to attend many of the court dates and pretrial hearings. You and your attorney will discuss a strategy to best handle your particular case.