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Criminal Charge Process in Norfolk

After someone has been arrested in Norfolk, Virginia, they can first expect that they will be taken to jail and brought before a magistrate shortly after. The magistrate then either sets a bond and the person will be released when the bond is posted, or the magistrate can not set a bond and the person must remain in jail until their arraignment or until they hire a Norfolk criminal lawyer who can handle the bond hearing for them.

You are not charged officially when you are arrested. You are charged officially at your arraignment. The arraignment is the first step in the criminal process that happens inside a courtroom. The whole purpose of an arraignment is for the judge to formally charge someone with a crime.

The Sixth Amendment of the Constitution, the right to a speedy trial, prevents authorities from holding you in custody for a long period of time without informing you of what they are charging you with.

Your Rights After Arrest

Unless you are being detained, you are free to go. It is good to ask the police if you are being detained if you are not sure, otherwise the police can argue later that you voluntarily stayed to talk to them. If a reasonable person would believe they are being detained, then it is likely that you are being detained. If you are in custody or under arrest, police officers are required to read you your Miranda rights before they question

These include the right to remain silent and the right to have a Norfolk criminal lawyer present before you are being questioned. If you are not questioned, then you most likely won’t be read these rights. If you are not read these rights and you are questioned, the lawyer can ask that any statement that you made not be admitted into evidence in court.

Asking to Speak to an Attorney

A lot of times when you are in jail there are little advertisements on the wall for attorneys or you can ask to get a public defender who can either help you with your case or can get you in contact with an attorney as well. You can also use a phone call and ask someone on the outside to search for you.

Generally, when someone is placed in jail before they can retain a Norfolk criminal lawyer, typically there is a point of contact outside that will get in contact with an attorney for them.

Getting in Contact With a Norfolk Criminal Lawyer

In this day and age, it is easy to get in contact with a lawyer due to the prevalence of the internet. There are multiple websites that have lists of attorneys, as well as reviews from clients and other lawyers. Word of mouth is also a common way to get in contact with an attorney. When conducting your research on choosing a Norfolk criminal lawyer, make sure you are thorough.

Look through attorneys’ websites and reviews. Make sure you retain a lawyer you really believe in and trust. Do not just blindly select an attorney based on recommendation or on price.