If you were arrested in the state of Florida and released without charges, you may not be off the hook yet. The accused may be released on their own recognizance (ROR), meaning the court releases the accused based on his/her promise to appear at the next court hearing. This scheduled court day is now your arraignment; at this time the state will alert you of what charges are being filed against you.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Arraignment?
Prior to arraignment, the court must advise the defendant of the right to an attorney or the right to an appointed lawyer if the defendant cannot afford representation for arraignment. It is never a good idea to represent yourself alone. If an experienced criminal defense attorney represents you, the arraignment could be delayed or even eliminated. Without a lawyer, you must still appear at the arraignment to hear the charges and enter a plea. A lawyer could guide you in making the best response at your arraignment hearing such as not guilty, guilty, or no contest. If you were arrested and released, your freedom and livelihood are at stake. Contact us immediately so we can build the best defense strategy for your case.
Here are additional reasons why you should never represent yourself in court.
Can You Be Arrested at Arraignment, Even If You Posted Bail?
If you were arrested for a new offense while on bail before your upcoming arraignment, the judge has the right to arrest you at your arraignment pending a new bail hearing.
If you've posted bond in Florida and the state decides to no-file your case, the state may choose not to file charges against you. A no-file may occur if the judge finds it difficult to prove that the accused committed a crime or is even involved. Just because your case is no-filed, it doesn't mean it's necessarily time to celebrate yet. Your case can always be picked back up depending on the charge and statute of limitations for the case.
What about your right to a speedy trial? The Sixth Amendment gives you the right to a 'speedy trial.' If you were arrested for a misdemeanor in Florida, the state only has 90 days to pick the case back up and 180 days for a felony charge.
Whether you’re guilty or not, being charged with a crime is scary and serious. You want reassurance that everything is going to be okay. If you were charged with a crime and need expert advice or representation in Florida, contact us immediately at (561) 671-5995 and our experienced criminal defense attorney will provide the help you need. To learn more about how the criminal defense process works in Florida, download our free guide 'My Loved One Has Been Arrested: What’s Next?'