What Happens After Someone Is Released From Jail?
After bail is set at the preliminary arraignment, the court will give you a notice that lists the date of your preliminary hearing, which is the first step in the criminal process. Once you’re released from jail, you’re going to need to obtain a lawyer for the preliminary hearing. In all likelihood, someone who is accused in Pennsylvania will receive direct mailings from various criminal attorneys who advertise their services. If the hearing is set to take place so soon after your release that you don’t have enough time to get the money to retain an attorney, then it can usually be continued for at least one month. If you can’t afford an attorney, then the court will give you information about how to apply for a public defender.
How Do You Advise Clients Who Want To Plead Guilty To Criminal Charges?
Pleading guilty to criminal charges is sometimes advisable and sometimes not, despite how the person feels. Ultimately, all of the decisions about a case are made by the client; everything is in their hands. What they are paying an attorney for is their best legal advice. Not everyone wants to fight a case, and some people will just say, “I made a mistake. I just want it to have the least damaging impact on my life as possible.” In cases like these, an experienced attorney can help them get through the case with minimal exposure to adverse consequences. It very often happens that the person says, “Yes, I did it, I just want to get the best deal I can.” However, there is usually still a lot of negotiation that needs to take place between the defense attorney and the district attorney’s office, and it’s not something that someone should go into without representation. If they plead guilty to everything, there could be many more consequences.
If a client wants to plead guilty, oftentimes the district attorney will let them plead guilty to lesser charges because they are accepting responsibility. For example, in many DUI cases, there are a lot of traffic charges that get tacked on based on what the officer saw (turning illegally, running a red light etc.). As a result, there are all kinds of collateral consequences, including having a permanent criminal conviction. You can negotiate a lot of those charges away and have them plead guilty to one appropriate charge that might not be as severe as the original charge. Those are all very important things that have to be taken into consideration, which is why someone needs experienced representation- even if they want to accept responsibility for what they did.
Do Most Criminal Cases Go All The Way To Trial?
Very few criminal cases end up going all the way to trial, and there are a number of different reasons for that. Like anything else, you have to consider the cost-benefit analysis. You have to go through the charges to figure out the worst possible scenario. In other words, if the person was convicted of everything they are charged with on day one, then what’s the worst thing that can happen to them? Then you consider the best offer from the district attorney’s office and determine how much the client would be risking by taking the case all the way to trial and potentially losing. Nothing in court can be guaranteed. I can’t guarantee a positive result; I can only give them my best estimation of our chances.
You have to present it to the client and say, “This is the worst that can happen, this is what they’re offering. Is it worth the risk to you to take it all the way to trial and potentially lose?” In a lot of cases, the DA’s offer is going to be too good to refuse. Without taking it, the client will be risking a significant amount of jail time, high fines and other consequences. Attorneys who have a good reputation as being successful and fighting cases (like me) are generally more likely to receive good offers from the district attorney’s office.
For more information on Aftermath Of Release From Jail, a free initial consultation is your best next step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (484) 854-3371 today.
CALL FOR A FREE CASE EVALUATION