The criminal process starts with a stop or an arrest and ends with sentencing,
based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the accused crime. However,
you still possess specific rights throughout the proceedings.
A stop is not considered an arrest. Instead, it is an opportunity for the
police officer to detain you and ask questions without moving you to another
location. A police officer is not allowed to stop you unless he or she
has probable cause or a reasonable belief that you have violated the law.
In addition, you have the option of not answering any questions that the
The police may also ask to search you and your vehicle. It is imperative
to understand that law enforcement cannot search your vehicle without
your consent, unless they have probable cause to do so. In conclusion,
the officer can arrest you if he has probable cause if he or she sees
you commit a misdemeanor, believes that you committed a felony, of if
there is a warrant for your arrest.
When you are placed under arrest, the officer must advise you of your constitutional
rights, such as your right to remain silent and your right to get legal
advice from an
attorney. As soon as you are arrested, you should be provided with a chance to
contact a lawyer or anyone else you want to inform about your arrest.
Once you are arrested, there is a certain amount of time before you must
either be charged with a crime or released. If you are not charged and
held for an unreasonable amount of time, your lawyer can request your
release from the judge.
Once you are arrested and charged with a criminal offense, you will then
be booked. This means that your fingers need to be printed, and your personal
information and crime charged will be entered into the police record.
Your personal belongings will be inventoried and kept safe while you are
Based on the circumstances of your case, there is a chance you may be released
and ordered to appear for your court hearing. On the other hand, you may
have to put up a specific amount of bail to ensure your release before
Entering a Plea
You may have to remain in police custody until a court hearing on your
release is made. If this occurs, you will be asked to enter a plea –
not guilty, guilty, or no contest. If you plead “not guilty,”
the judge will determine the terms of your release or if you will be released
If you plead “guilty or “no contest,” there will not
be a trial. In this scenario, you will either be sentenced right after
the verdict or sentenced at a later time. If the latter happens, the judge
will decide whether you should be held in custody until sentencing or
whether you should be released and ordered to appear in court for sentencing.
If you are convicted of a crime in Plano, TX,
schedule a consultation with the
Law Offices of Scott Edgett today.