Like all states across the country, New York takes crimes involving the loss of life seriously. Homicide convictions carry severe sentences, including the potential of spending the rest of your life behind bars. As soon as you have been arrested and charged with a homicide crime, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney to ensure you understand your rights. Due to the serious nature of homicide cases, it is natural to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and apprehensive about what the future holds. Here is a brief overview of what you can expect within the upcoming days, weeks, and months as your case moves forward.
What Happens During the Arrest Process in New York
When law enforcement officers place you under arrest, it is important to understand your rights. You may be familiar with the rights a law enforcement officer lists as they place a suspect under arrest, including the “right to remain silent.” These are not empty words. It is in your best interest to stay quiet and to fight the temptation to explain yourself. Unfortunately, even your attempt to reason your way out of the situation and claim your innocence can be twisted and used against you later on. Do not further incriminate yourself by giving the police or the prosecution additional ammunition to build their case against you. Exercise your Right to Remain Silent.
After you are arrested, you will be taken in to be booked, photographed, and fingerprinted. While you wait, a Pre-Trial Services representative will interview you, asking basic questions such as your legal name, address, employer, and more. You can then expect to appear at an arraignment within the next 24 hours, where the judge will inform you of the charges against you and ask whether you plead “not guilty” or “guilty.” The judge will also determine whether to set bail and if so for how much. In serious charges, such as homicide, the judge may decide that no bail is available and that you must remain in custody until the conclusion of the case.
The Criminal Justice System Moves Slowly
The court system is often overloaded with cases, so it can take a significant amount of time before your case moves forward. After your arraignment, the case will enter the discovery phase, where the prosecution and the defense gather all the necessary evidence to make their case. You can discuss with your attorney whether negotiating a plea bargain serves your best interests, or you can proceed to trial. This whole process, from arrest to the ultimate resolution of the case, can take months to complete. Knowing that this difficult period will last for a considerable length of time, try to find ways of supporting yourself emotionally and mentally so that you can endure this time of great uncertainty.
Working With a Skilled Criminal Defense Attorney is a Must
No matter what the specifics of your situation may be, it is essential that you work with a trusted and effective Criminal Defense Attorney to ensure that your rights are protected at every stage of the legal process. Whether you are facing charges involving murder, manslaughter, or criminally negligent homicide, your attorney will advise you of the strengths and weaknesses of the case and will keep you informed. You will also receive the support you need during this incredibly difficult time. You will not be alone during this process.
If you or a loved one is currently facing homicide charges in New York, contact the Law Office of Adrienne D. Edward, P.C. by calling (347) 997-3811 today to speak to a trusted and dedicated Criminal Defense Lawyer.