The arrest of a loved one for any reason can be an unsettling experience. However, when someone is arrested for a federal crime it can be an even more stressful experience for their family and friends. Imagine federal agents knocking at your door and arresting your spouse, son, or daughter. What do you do and who do you call? Your first course of action is to contact a federal defense lawyer in Tampa for guidance.
Understanding the federal criminal court process can be confusing and frustrating for, but this two-part article will provide you with insight into the process.
Educate Yourself and Hire an Attorney
Although you should quickly secure the services of a federal criminal defense attorney in Tampa, it is also important that you educate yourself about the federal court process so you as well as your loved one (the defendant) can make the right decisions to secure their future. Stay on top of the case and follow your attorney’s advice.
Arrest or Notice to Appear
A criminal case begins in one of two ways: an arrest or a Notice to Appear. The criminal process begins immediately once your loved one is arrested for a criminal complaint. Otherwise, they may be served with a notice to appear in a Florida court. A notice to appear is a written order issued by an officer which requires them to appear in court. If your loved one does not appear in court as required, an arrest warrant will be issued. If the notice to appear was issued after an arrest, their signature is required in order for them to be released from custody.
Your loved one will appear before a judge after their arrest (if they have not been bailed out of jail). This visit is to ensure that they have an attorney, that they understand the charges against them, and to determine the bail and other important pretrial conditions. The judge could possibly reduce their bond during this appearance as well.
Read part two to learn about the preliminary hearing, the arraignment, and trial.
For a free consultation with an experienced federal criminal defense attorney in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.