Answers To Common Criminal Law Questions
If you are facing criminal charges, it’s important to be educated about your rights. At Grant & O'Malley Co. L.P.A., I provide in-depth knowledge of criminal defense that can only come with decades of experience. I am Cleveland criminal defense attorney David Grant. I have four decades of successful experience in Ohio courts. I know you want answers, so I offer a free consultation to discuss your case. Call 216-241-6868 to arrange one as soon as possible. It’s never wise to wait for counsel when facing criminal charges.
What’s an arraignment?
An arraignment is when you are brought before a judge after your arrest. You are told the charges and you “enter a plea.” You say that you are guilty or not guilty of the charges. It will usually happen within two days of your arrest.
Was I assaulted by the police when I was arrested?
Law enforcement can use force to arrest you. However, if it can be shown that too much force was used, and it was unreasonable, then this can constitute assault. A judge typically decides this.
Who issues a search warrant?
A judge issues a warrant. The police will have to show probable cause to the judge to get the warrant signed or “authorized.”
Should I let the police in?
If the police have a warrant, you have to let them in. If they do not have a warrant, you can say no. If you allow them to come in, the police will search and will use what they find against you in court. If the police can see illegal activity or items that are in plain view, from a window or a doorway, then they do not need a warrant. You and the area around you can be searched during an arrest.
What is bail or bond money?
Bail is the money given to the court to release a person who is being held in jail before the trial. Bail is used as collateral. If you are charged and someone provides bail, and you do not return, the bail is forfeited. If you do return as directed, then the bail is given back, even if you are found guilty. There are three kinds of bail: recognizance (no money, just a promise to return), unsecured bond (also called a surety bond is a document that says you will pay the bond if you do not show up as directed) and secured bond (cash or property that is forfeited if you do not show as required).
When do I get an attorney?
You can make a phone call to an attorney right after your arrest. You have the right to leave any time if you are not under arrest. If you are arraigned, then you will appear before a judge. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court will provide one for you. If you can afford an attorney, it is wise to have your attorney present as soon as possible.
What is a nolo contendere plea?
This means you are not admitting to being guilty. You only admit that the facts presented are true. It is similar to pleading guilty except that it cannot be used against you in a civil case.
What is a preliminary hearing?
A preliminary meeting happens within 10 days of your arrest. If you are released on bond, your preliminary hearing must happen within 15 days of your arrest. This is a hearing to determine whether or not a crime has been committed, and if you are likely to have done it. You will be discharged if it cannot be shown that the crime happened and that you did it. If both are found to be true, then the charge is sent to the grand jury. Work with an attorney experienced in Ohio criminal defense matters to ensure you understand what is happening and that your rights are protected.
Get The Answers You Need With David Grant
Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, I can help you mount an aggressive defense to keep your record and your reputation clean. To discuss your situation, call me, David Grant, at my office in Cleveland at 216-241-6868 or send me an email.