What Can I Expect When I Get Arrested in Charleston, SC?

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Getting arrested is a stressful time, it can have dire effects on you and your family. Hiring a good criminal defense attorney is the key to making the process easier for you. It is important that you understand the process that is involved.

I have committed a crime, will I be arrested immediately?

Depending on what type of crime you have committed, your arrest might not be immediate. It happens that there is a pre-arrest investigation. During this investigation, the police will inform you that they are investigating a case against you. The police will also likely request that you do not leave the city. In some cases, the police ask that you hand in any travel documents, allowing them the time to finish their investigation. After they have concluded this investigation, then you will get arrested. We all have seen what being arrested looks like on TV. They slap the cuffs on your wrists and march you down to the station. However, in real life, this is not always the case. In most cases, the actual arrest is a lot less dramatic. They will read you your rights during the actual arrest. Then you will be taken to the police station where you will be booked. During booking, they will take your fingerprints, take a mugshot and the prison medical staff will check you out. After this process is finished, you will be moved to Bond Court.

During your Bond hearing, the magistrate judge will decide whether you can be released on bond or not. Remember that you can have legal representation during this hearing and it is vital for you to make use of this. Your attorney will try to get you released on bond, a lower bond amount or even without bond.

You are entitled to a preliminary hearing, and you must insist on taking it. Your attorney will request a court date within ten days of your bond hearing. During the preliminary hearing, the prosecution must show that were probable cause for your arrest as well as the criminal charges brought against you. It is possible to have the case dismissed during this stage.

After the preliminary hearing, your lawyer and the prosecution can negotiate a plea bargain for you. Having a good criminal defense lawyer is of utmost importance, especially during the negotiation stages. The lawyer will know what punishment will be best and fair for the crime you have committed. Remember that most prosecutors chase statistics, and will try to get the worst possible sentence. It is your lawyer’s job to ensure that you get the fair chance that you deserve.

If it happens that there is a deadlock during negotiations and the case go to trial, your lawyer will be able to present your case in the best possible light. Lawyers do not lie; it is against the law. However, if you have a good attorney, they will be able to use the evidence against you in the best possible way. They will also search for any breach of rights or misuse of power. The trial will be heard by 12 jurors if it is heard in a higher court, and six jurors if it is heard in the magistrate court.

After the trail, you have the right to appeal the verdict and the sentence. If you have a good lawyer, they will move for an appeal immediately. By moving quickly, they ensure that your rights are protected. Just remember that it is very likely that you will remain in jail during the appeal process. Your lawyer will try to get your bond extended, but this rarely happens as the appeal process can take very long, sometimes even years.

Things to Do When You Get Arrested in Charleston, SC

It is essential that you keep quiet during your arrest. When they read your Miranda rights, they will ask whether you understand it, just say a simple yes, and keep quiet. Miranda rights only protect you against the abuse of the police and not against anything you spontaneously admit or say.

When you arrive at the police station, request an attorney immediately. You are not incriminating yourself if you insist on having an attorney present. No matter what the police are telling you, you have the right to an attorney being present when you are interrogated, and it is wise to use this right; it will protect you in the long run of the case.

Do not sign anything the police give you to sign unless you get approval from legal counsel. It is important that you read and understand anything they want you to sign. It is even better if your attorney has read it as well.

Do not resist arrest. It will be better for you and the police if you cooperate with them during the arrest. If you are willing to go with them, they might be more likely to treat you respectfully in front of coworkers or family.

If they ask you any questions, just tell them that you will answer all the questions once your attorney is present. Sometimes they hammer on you, and then you can get irritated. Do not under any circumstances answer them or be violent towards the police, which can get you into more trouble.

The police will respect your Miranda rights as far as possible. But if it is found that these rights were violated, the case against you will not be dismissed. Instead, the judge will just exclude this evidence. The state will just find other evidence against you. Do not bargain on the case being dismissed because of Miranda Rights. It rarely happens, and if it does happen, it is usually on a TV show and not in real life.

Stand your ground.

The Protection of Persons and Property act has become widely known as the “stand your ground” act. This act means that you can protect property or people, even with the use of deadly force, if someone is trying to enter the property forcefully and illegally, or if someone is trying to remove a person against their will from the property.

This law applies to vehicles as well as property. However, the law does not state that it must be your property. If you were invited into the property, then this law applies. Just keep in mind that you must feel that you, the property or other people in or on the property is in danger.

If it happens that you find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself or the property, do not do something stupid afterward. Do not move the body, call the emergency services immediately. It is not advisable to fire shots into the walls or ceilings afterward. With the forensic technology that is available today, the prosecution might find that you had other motives, which can be damaging to your case.

When Should I Call My Defense Lawyer?

Call your lawyer the moment you realize you will be arrested in Charleston, SC. If the investigators inform you during the pre-arrest investigation, then you call an experienced criminal law attorney. If you are unable to call a lawyer, ask a friend or family member to do so immediately. They can make the call even when you are being arrested in Charleston, SC. The sooner you have legal representation, the better.