Navigating the Colorado criminal justice system can seem overwhelming and intimidating, especially for first-time offenders. A basic understanding of how the process works can help you prepare to face each step with greater clarity. It’s essential to recognize that you are never alone during this process; working with a trusted and experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to give you the support and reassurance you need to move forward. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in Colorado Springs or Denver, call the Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, right away to start discussing your options and defend your future.
After the Arrest
If you have never been arrested, you may be uncertain of what happens after this event. Before an officer can legally place you under arrest, probable cause must be determined to believe you committed a crime. However, just because you are arrested doesn’t mean you are guilty—that decision is left to the Colorado Criminal Justice System to determine. Once law enforcement has arrested you, they will take you to the local police station to book you in a county jail. This process often involves asking you for personal information, confiscating and cataloging personal property, taking your fingerprints, searching your body, and taking your photo. You should recognize that you are not obligated to speak about the charges; in fact, remaining silent is the best way to ensure that law enforcement does not use your words against you.
Understanding the Bond Hearing
You may be eligible to be released on bail after you’ve completed the booking process. During a bond hearing, the Judge will set the bail amount and determine whether you are eligible to be released. The Judge may hold you in custody pending a hearing if they believe you are a flight risk or a danger to the public.
Many people have difficulty posting bond and may need to consider a bail bondman to post bail for a fee. Bondsmen typically charge between 10$ -15% of the bail amount as a fee. Posting bail does not mean your case is over; however, you will be release from jail pending sentencing. You are required to attend all pending court dates and meet the conditions set forth by the court.
What to Expect at the Arraignment
During the arraignment hearing, the court will specify the charges against you and the potential penalties involved. You will have the chance to plead guilty, not guilty, or no contest.
Prosecutors may also offer you a plea bargain at an arraignment hearing, though it is highly advisable you consult with legal counsel first. The plea deal may be a good option if the state has substantial evidence linking you to a crime, as accepting the plea may allow you to receive a lighter sentence and avoid maximum jail or prison time. While most cases are resolved through plea deals, you may want to take your case to a jury trial.
Defending Your Best Interests at Every Turn
Whether you are facing your first arrest or one of many, you need aggressive legal representation to defend your rights. The skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, are here to advocate for you. You can trust that we will fight hard to secure you the most favorable outcome we can.