Most clients call our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Law Firm after they have been arrested in Jacksonville, Clay County or Nassau County. An arrest is defined as the taking or keeping of a person in custody by legal authority in response to a criminal charge. In Duval, Clay and Nassau County, the police can “arrest” you in one of two ways. One is the traditional arrest that involves handcuffs and a trip to the police station. With some crimes, the officer can issue a Notice to Appear. A Notice to Appear is a piece of paper that acts as an arrest, but you are not taken into custody by the police. You will have to make a court date to address the criminal charge in Jacksonville. A notice to appear is normally issued to people who have never been in trouble before and the common crimes are possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, driving on a suspended license, trespass, petit theft, and criminal mischief.
If the officer elects to actually arrest you in Jacksonville, you will be detained and transported to the Pretrial Detention Facility. Once you are there, you will be searched, fingerprinted and seen by a jail nurse. Once your medical evaluation is over, you will be told to change into the jail clothes and put on one of six floors at the jail. The police officers may try to get a statement from you about your case. You have the right to remain silent. Exercise that right! The police are not there to help you, they are there to justify their arrest. Ask to speak to a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney and don’t say anything else to the police.
Within 24 hours, you will have the right to go before a judge. If you were arrested for a misdemeanor in Jacksonville, you may be able to take care of your case in first appearance court. You will be given an offer by the assistant state attorney or the judge. It is your right to enter a plea of Not Guilty. If your case is a felony in Jacksonville, you cannot resolve your case in first appearance court. The judge will issue a bond that you must post to be released or release you on your own recognizance (also called ROR). Most of the time, the judge will impose a bond on you and you will have to post 10% of the whole amount with collateral for the rest.
Once you are released from jail, your case begins. You should call a Jacksonville Criminal Attorney, a Clay County Criminal Attorney or a Nassau County Criminal Attorney as soon as possible. At Mussallem & Associate, P.A., our criminal attorney is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call today for a free consultation at (904) 365-5200.