How Arrests Work in Florida

Arrested in Florida? You’ll want to hire a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. How Arrests Work in Florida

If you’ve never been arrested, it can prove an unnerving experience, even if the charge is a minor one, and especially if you’re not guilty of the crime in question. Criminal defense attorneys with Gainesville’s Law Offices of Edwards & Jones explain the process.

First, there are three different ways that you may be arrested in the Sunshine State:

  • You’re handcuffed, read your Miranda rights and booked into the local jail;
  • You’re issued a Notice to Appear, which essentially is a citation informing you of the charges;
  • You receive a Notice of Arraignment, typically delivered via mail, from the State Attorney’s Office.

Once you’re placed under arrest and booked into jail, unless you post bail immediately, you’ll be brought in for your first appearance, at which time a judge will inform you of your charges and possibly sent your bond. Having a criminal defense attorney attend your first appearance can help, in that he or she can argue on your behalf for a bond amount that you or your family can afford to post.

Your case then will go to the State Attorney’s Office for investigation and for determination of whether the crime has been properly charged. During this phase, your criminal defense attorney will communicate with the State Attorney’s Office, lobbying on your behalf for lesser charges or for dropping your charges altogether.

Next is your arraignment, during which you’ll be formally charged with the alleged crime and will have the chance to enter your plea – not guilty, guilty or nolo contendere (no contest). If you plead not guilty at your arraignment, your next step will be a pretrial conference or hearing, at which the State Attorney and will present its evidence against you and your lawyer will counter with evidence in your defense and/or argue that the State Attorney’s offer is unreasonable. Depending upon the complexity of your case and the amount of evidence collected by each party, you may have multiple pretrial hearings. Once the evidence is presented, you will either plea to your charges, or opt to take your case to trial.

It’s advantageous to have a criminal defense attorney working for you as early in the process as possible, from the time of your arrest, or even earlier, if you are a suspect in a criminal case – but it’s critical to have one on your side during a trial. The legal process can be a complicated one and trials are won by attorneys who present the most convincing cases. Do not gamble your freedom or your reputation by attempting to represent yourself. If you have been arrested or are facing an arrest warrant, contact a criminal defense lawyer with Gainesville’s Law Offices of Edwards & Jones at 877-377-7801.

Client Reviews
Mr.Jones went beyond needed services as a lawyer to help me with my very in depth case. Very helpful throughout the whole 6-7 month process. Not only did he get all my questions answered to the best of his abilities but also really showed compassion for my family & I during the case as well as after. 5 star lawyer, highly recommended. Thank you for all your hard work!
★★★★★
I hired Mr. Jones to represent my son. We had never had to hire a lawyer and I was anxious. Mr. Jones took the time to explain what was happening and it helped lessen my concerns. Once we hired him he started work immediately and was able to get my son's case thrown out. We are very satisfied with his services. Robert H.
★★★★★
I hired Christopher for situation I got myself in. He worked hard to get my case dropped. I definitely would recommend this attorney to anyone needing one. He puts his heart in his work. Roy M.
★★★★★
I had the pleasure of having Mr. Edwards represent me in 2006. While I was charged with a crime, Mr Edwards insisted sternly that he was very confident he could successfully defend the charges against me. This man exudes confidence. It is my opinion that he is clearly one of the best lawyers in the city of Gainesville. You can't go wrong with Mr. Edwards!!! Everette Sr.
★★★★★
We are from Lake City, Florida. As parents, we sought the help of Mr. Edwards in my daughter's behalf. As a young lady, she had acquired multiple felonies with the prospect of 10-15 years in prison facing her. Mr. Edwards heard our case, took it on with confidence, and got her sentence reduced to 10 years probation, and restitution. That was 8 years ago, and my daughter is married, has a son, and is doing great. She hasn't even had a traffic violation. Because Mr. Edwards believed in us and took a chance, we will be forever be in his debt. He is a great lawyer, with a very big heart. Colin
★★★★★
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