Arrested – How Charges Get Dropped
Just because you were arrested, does not mean formal charges will be filed against you.
So you were arrested for a crime. You went to jail and bonded out. What happens now?
Do you wait for a court date? NO!!!
After you are arrested, whether a misdemeanor or felony arrest, the case goes to the State Attorney’s office for review. If it is a felony charge, the witnesses and the police involved also go to the State Attorney’s Office and give sworn testimony as to what they saw. (this can take several days or several weeks. It all depends on how quickly the arresting officer gets his evidence and police reports to the State) After this State Attorney reviews the evidence, a formal charge may or may not be filed. If formal charges are filed, then you go to court.
When do you get to tell your side of the story? When do your witnesses get to be interviewed?
Unless you hire a criminal defense attorney. An experienced defense attorney, will listen to your side of the case, talk to your witnesses, and present your side to the State Attorney. We may be able to get your charges lessened or even dropped. We tell the State Attorney your version of the facts. If they never hear from you, they base their decision only on the police reports and statement of the victim and witnesses. Those people, in most circumstances, want to see you prosecuted.
The State Attorney’s Office does not have to disclose evidence in a case to a defense attorney while they are actively investigating. There is no “Discovery” before formal charges are filed.
That means that your memory of the arrest – the reasons why you were arrested are crucial to your defense.