Criminal Process Overview

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The has many layers that the average person likely doesn’t know about, and rightfully so. Judges, lawyer乐福彩票网s, and other legal professionals are some of the few who fully understand the complexities of the justice system; however, if you or someone you know was recently arrested, it is vital for you to learn the basics.

Arrests and Extraditions

The criminal process often starts with an arrest. An officer who has reasonable suspicion that a person is involved in criminal activity has the right to place him under arrest. Police officers may also arrest material witnesses. Although the person may be under arrest, he maintains rights that law enforcement officials must uphold. If these rights are violated, a criminal defense lawyer乐福彩票网 can bring forth a legal claim.

A defendant considered a fugitive from the law is a person who is wanted for committing a crime in one particular state and has fled to another state. When arrested in the other state, the original state has the right to to stand trial. This process is known as extradition.

First Appearance

Any suspect arrested and held in custody in Florida must appear in court within 24 hours. The first appearance consists of a brief meeting with the judge. It is an opportunity for the defendant to:

  • Learn about the charges he may face
  • Receive a copy of the complaint
  • Learn about his right to counsel, among other rights

The judge may also set conditions for release if any apply and appoint the defendant an attorney to represent him if he cannot afford a private attorney. A defendant inching toward his first appearance is strongly advised to acquire legal representation beforehand so that the attorney may be present.

Formal Charges and Arraignment

The arraignment is the second time the defendant appears before the judge. By the time of the arraignment, the prosecution has filed charges (if he or she has chosen to do so). During the arraignment, the judge informs the defendant of the charges against him and asks him to enter a plea. The defendant may enter a plea of guilt, innocence, or no contest. The judge may also set bail and the conditions of release at this hearing.

Hiring a Criminal Defense Lawyer

Those who have yet to do so by this point really must acquire legal representation. The court provides the accused with a public defender for the sake of the arraignment hearing, but the opportunity to seek the legal services of a private criminal defense lawyer乐福彩票网 remains. A defendant who seeks to hire private counsel should consider attorneys who have significant experience in the particular area of law that applies to his case.

Pleas and Pretrial Diversion Programs

orlando trialDefendants are entitled to a reasonable amount of time to consider how to plead. There are three possible pleas a defendant can enter: guilty, not guilty, or no contest. The benefits and drawbacks of each plea vary depending on the circumstances of the case. A criminal defense attorney can help a defendant make the best decision for his unique case. At The Umansky Law Firm, we strongly urge individuals facing criminal charges to speak with their lawyer乐福彩票网 before entering a plea.

may be available to first-time, nonviolent offenders who have been charged with misdemeanor or third-degree felony offenses. These programs aim to rehabilitate offenders so they may become productive members of society once more. It may be possible to avoid punishment by completing a pretrial diversion program, but one must diligently follow the terms of the program. In this way, entering a pretrial diversion program is similar to probation. These programs are voluntary; however, it is up to the State Attorney to determine whether you may enroll in them. Completing a pretrial diversion program will lead to dropped charges.

Florida Trial Procedure

Depending on the plea entered, a trial may be necessary. The Florida trial procedure allows the prosecution to present their case as to why they believe the individual in question is guilty of the charges against him. This is an opportunity for the defendant’s attorney to look out for his best interests. The defense attorney may present counterevidence and look out for his client’s best interests. The trial concludes with a verdict from a jury or a judge. The judge then hands down a criminal sentence if the individual is found guilty. If the Defendant is found Not Guilty, the Defendant is free from all responsibilities related to the arrest and charge.

Criminal Sentencing

The judge considers both mitigating and aggravating factors when sentencing a defendant. Depending on the offense, the defendant may be sentenced to incarceration, probation, pay restitution and/or court fines, community service, and other penalties.

Criminal Penalties

When sentencing an individual, the judge must abide by the for that specific charge. The individual’s criminal history, conduct during trial, and other factors influence the severity of the penalties the judge issues.


After the judge sentences the accused, he or she can still attempt to have the court ruling overturned or reassessed. Both are made possible through the criminal appeals process. Appeals are not guaranteed approval, but the right criminal defense attorney can position you for a favorable ruling.

Contact Our Orlando Defense Attorneys Today 

If you’re under investigation or are currently facing felony or misdemeanor charges in Orlando, don’t lose hope. There are goods odds a skilled defense attorney like those at The Umansky Law Firm can assist you in preserving your reputation and future in court. Our firm has a recognized presence and has contributed to and appeared on many national media outlets including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, People, and NBA, CBS, ABC and FOX affiliates. 

Our .  Don’t risk your future and freedom and go it alone facing charges.  Contact our office online or by phone today at (407) 228-3838 for a free case evaluation.