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What Happens After An Arrest in Richmond?

The following was taken from an interview with a Richmond criminal lawyer. To learn more about arrests in Virginia schedule a free consultation today.

In the city of Richmond, after you’re arrested, you’ll be taken to the police station for processing then before a magistrate where the officer will give a statement as to the cause for the arrest.  The magistrate will then formalize the charge and determine your bond if any.  If you received no bond or a low bond you may be released after that.  If you received high bond or no bond at all, you’ll be taken to the Richmond City Jail where you’ll be held until your arraignment in front of a judge.

What Happens After My Charges Are Filed in a Richmond Case?

After charges are filed your bond will be determined by a magistrate or a judge.  You’ll next be arraigned at which you will be advised of the charge by a judge and of your right to counsel. You’ll be given the opportunity to request court appointed, if you qualify, or to retain your own counsel.  After this is determined you’ll be given a trial date or attorney status date to advise the Court who your attorney will be.

What Does a Grand Jury Mean in Richmond, Virginia?

A grand jury sits to certify or authorize felony charges. What happens with a felony charge is there will be a preliminary hearing in general district court where the judge will determine whether there is probable cause for the charges to be forwarded to the grand jury.

At that time, the charge will go before the grand jury or a prosecutor will present evidence or witnesses to testify to show if probable cause exists for the charge.  If the jury finds probable cause they will enter a true bill and the matter will be certified to the Circuit Court for trial before a judge or jury.

In addition, what they can also is present what’s called a direct indictment, which is to bypass the preliminary hearing in general district court and take a charge straight to the grand jury in an attempt to get it certified for trial. To show probable cause exists is not a difficult standard to overcome and most charges presented receive a true bill from the Grand Jury.

What is An Indictment?

Well, indictment is a certification for trial of a felony charge.  Once the indictment is issued on a felony charge it will proceed to the Circuit Court for trial in front of a judge or jury.

What’s Unique About Defending Criminal Cases in Richmond Courts?

Probably the most unique part is due the high volume of criminal cases in the city they are processed very quickly and it is very common to work out agreements on most of these cases. There are any number of the prosecutors you may be dealing at the time, so it’s really valuable to have some knowledge of the individual prosecutors that work in Richmond.

There’s also, anywhere between four to six judges that your case could be in front of. So there’s a lot of moving parts to criminal cases in the city of Richmond. They also tend to process the cases fairly quickly in an effort to keep of dockets moving.  Because of this high caseload the Judges and prosecutors are very open to alternative sentencing if your client qualifies.