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What Should Someone Expect From the Process of an Arrest in Richmond?

    Below is information regarding what someone should expect after they have been arrested including where they are taken and how long the process usually takes. To discuss your case or a case you have been involved in, call today and schedule a free consultation with a Richmond criminal defense lawyer.

Well, typically what is going to happen is you’re going to be detained by the officer either on site or in their vehicle.  When you are placed under arrest you will be handcuffed and placed in their vehicle.  The officer’s will also conduct a search of you and your vehicle.

They’re only required to read you your rights, which you see on TV, if they plan on questioning you. If they plan on questioning you, then they have to read you your rights. So the process is typically a detention, a search, an arrest obviously then brings you down to the sheriff’s office or local police station to process you in which point in time you will typically go before a magistrate.

What Can Someone Expect About The Process of Their Case After Being Arrested For The First Time?

In the initial process,  after  you’ve  been arrested they will bring you before a magistrate, who will advise you of what you’re charged with and determine a bond. In some cases, there may not be a bond set then or if there is, what they’ll then do is process you with what’s called an arraignment.

At the arraignment, you will go before a judge in the court. A lot of folks kind of equate the magistrate to a judge. A magistrate is not a judge, but when you’re arraigned which is the next step in the process, you will be before a judge. At that point in time the judge will advise you what you’re charged with, advise you of what sort of penalties you may face, felony versus a misdemeanor.

The judge will then advise you of your right to an attorney.  If there is a possibility of jail, they will typically advise someone of their right to get court- appointed counsel if they qualify or retain their own attorney. If you want court-appointed counsel you have to fill out an information sheet where you provide your economic information and work information.

If you want to retain counsel, you just advise the court I want to retain counsel. At that point in time they will give you a trial date or what’s called an attorney status hearing. That attorney status hearing is basically a time for you to come back in with documentation from a lawyer and/or have lawyer contact the court to advise them that they’re retained and they’re handling the case from there on out.

What is Unique About Defending Criminal Cases in Virginia Courts?

Well, I can’t speak much to other jurisdictions, but I will say in Virginia with regarding misdemeanor charges, the process can move very quickly. After arrest/arraignment you will receive a court date that will take place usually within ninety days or your arrest.  So on a misdemeanor charge your case could be finalized within a fairly short time after arrest.

Also, Virginia has a reputation for being a strict enforcement state and has penalties that are rather severe compared to other states.  This obviously varies from case to case but punishments in Virginia are routinely much more severe than in other states.