An arrest and subsequent charge for any number of crimes could throw your life into chaos. The criminal process can be confusing—and sometimes contradictory. You could rely on the help of an experienced Palm Beach Gardens criminal lawyer throughout the duration of your case. An established criminal attorney may be able to fight hard to defend you and protect your rights in Court. You can call a Palm Beach Gardens criminal lawyer to discuss your case in more detail and ask any more questions you might have.
Following a Palm Beach Gardens Arrest
The criminal process usually begins with an arrest, though sometimes it begins with an investigation into a person’s actions. After an arrest, the police will book—or begin officially processing—the person suspected of a crime. In some cases, the arrested person may be able to post bail within a day. Those unable to post bail will make a first appearance in Court.
This appearance is an advisory hearing and is when the Judge will notify the individual of their criminal charges. Several court hearings will follow the advisory hearing, including arraignment, where the defendant can enter their plea.
Criminal Misdemeanors vs. Criminal Felonies
The law in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida classifies crimes as either misdemeanors or felonies. Misdemeanors are less serious than felonies, which means someone facing a misdemeanor offense may have lesser penalties than someone facing felony charges. Both misdemeanors and felonies have different degrees indicating the severity of the crime.
As a Palm Beach Gardens criminal lawyer has seen, the circumstances of each individual criminal act or scenario will determine whether someone faces a misdemeanor or a felony charge. For example, if police arrest someone for drug possession, the amount and type of substance they allegedly possessed will likely determine what charges they face.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Conviction?
Any conviction for any kind or level of crime may result in criminal penalties. The exact criminal charge will determine the type and severity of penalties someone faces. These penalties vary widely, depending on whether the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony.
Depending on the charge, someone could face:
- A jail or prison sentence
- Steep Fines
- Community service
- Mandatory completion of drug or alcohol education courses
Likelihood of Dismissing or Reducing Criminal Charges
The Prosecutor will ultimately decide whether to reduce or dismiss charges, but a person’s attorney may be able to present evidence showing the charges are unwarranted. In some cases, a criminal defense attorney in Palm Beach Gardens can make a plea agreement with the Prosecutor in exchange for lesser charges.
However, these plea agreements are highly dependent on the circumstances of the case and the skill of your attorney. If you are facing criminal charges, call a Palm Beach Gardens criminal lawyer right away. Each criminal case is different, and you may need an attorney who could tailor a legal defense unique to your circumstances.