Investigation and Arrest in Florida
Unless a person commits a crime in front of police, the police first begin an investigation. They speak with witnesses, gather evidence, and request a search warrant if needed. The police must have probable cause or have witnessed the crime themselves, to bring a person into custody.
If the police decide to file charges, they do so at this point with an official complaint that begins the process of indictment. The arrangement (also called a preliminary hearing) is next, in which the charges are read to the arrested person, now a defendant, who pleads guilty or not guilty. Don’t speak at this hearing.
Defendants can post bail to leave jail and promise to appear for a court date. Bail can be cash, a pledge of property, or bail bonds.
Plea Deal and Jury Trial
Defendants are often offered a “plea deal” or “plea bargain.” This is a lesser charge in exchange for a guilty plea, resulting in reduced fines and other punishments, including sentencing. You should discuss this possibility with your criminal defense attorney before considering whether to accept a plea deal.
If the prosecution’s offer isn’t acceptable, or your attorney doesn’t believe it’s a good idea, the case will go to a jury trial. The judge and the jury will then decide on guilt or innocence. A jury trial can be highly unpredictable and may not lead to a favorable outcome.
If You Are Arrested
Immediately invoke your right to remain silent and ask to speak to an attorney before answering any questions. You are entitled to an attorney when you are arrested.
Speaking to police before speaking to an attorney can lead to more problems. An attorney understands how to navigate the justice system and is your advocate following an arrest.
An arrest can have additional consequences:
• Loss of employment, reputation, family, relationships
• Loss of opportunity, i.e., education, employment
• Loss of professional licensure (healthcare, teacher, pilot, CDL, etc.)
• Social estrangement
• News and social media stories
Even if you are acquitted, or the charges dropped, records may still be available.
Read more here. Contact our criminal defense team immediately to discuss your case.
After an arrest, it’s your responsibility to protect and defend yourself. The police are unconcerned with justice, only making arrests and solving cases. We believe that you should consult with a criminal defense attorney anytime you are asked to speak to the police. Say nothing to them until you speak with us.
If you or a loved one has been arrested in Florida or accused of a crime, contact the criminal defense team of Farkas & Crowley as soon as possible. We are available 24/7, whenever you need us.
Looking for a criminal law firm? Farkas & Crowley, P.A. are the attorneys for you. They are extremely knowledgeable of the law and go the extra mile for their clients. Their expertise and impeccable work ethic are hard to beat. Available 24/7. Highly recommended.