One mistake that people tend to make after an arrest is posting comments about the event on social media. If you describe your case on social media, the prosecutors will issue subpoenas to social media sites in order to find what you wrote. Do not talk about the case with your friends or family members, because you might inadvertently make them a witness in the case against you.
Many people are surprised by the conditions of bond. A magistrate judge has the power to impose any reasonable bond conditions for any offense. On most offenses, you will be told that you cannot violate any federal laws, state laws or local ordinances and that you cannot get arrested again. In some cases, a judge will remark that you cannot drink nor do drugs other than those that are prescribed to you.
In domestic violence cases, you may not be able to go back to your house or be around the named victim in the case, which can create a real hardship. If you do not have anywhere else to go, then you may end up living in a hotel room for a while. You must pay attention to those conditions of bond because they will govern what you can and cannot do once released from jail.
Am I Going to Have a Criminal Court Appearance Within the First Month After an Arrest?
For traffic offenses and minor charges received in Georgia, you will usually have an arraignment scheduled within 30 to 60 days of the date of arrest. For serious misdemeanors or felonies, it can be months (or in some cases even years) before you get a court date in the mail.
How Often Should I Expect to Meet with My Attorney in the First Month After an Arrest?
The frequency with which you will meet with your attorney in the first month after an arrest will depend on the case and the attorney. In some cases, a phone consultation or an in-person conference may suffice to get the attorney started. In other cases, you may need one or more face-to-face meetings to get going. Following the receipt of the discovery or the evidence in the case, further follow-ups may be required if additional information is necessary.
Will I Have to Meet with a Pre-Trial or Probation Officer of Any Kind?
Most jurisdictions that we practice in do not do pre-trial services for the bond. In order to get a bond, sometimes the judge will require you to do certain things, such as attend classes or consent to regular drug and alcohol testing. We usually try to avoid getting clients under these types of restrictions, but sometimes it is the only way we can get them out on bond.
Do You Recommend Pre-Trial Counseling or Treatment to Your Clients?
I absolutely recommend pre-trial counseling or treatment; do not let your case or the pending charges stand in the way of getting help. If you need counseling, get counseling; if you need treatment, get treatment. If the case goes to a hearing or a trial, the prosecutor may know about it but will not be able to use it as an admission against you. It may have a positive effect because it will demonstrate to the prosecutor or judge that you sought treatment voluntarily and early on, rather than being forced to do so as part of a plea deal or sentence.
What Are Some Helpful Tips You Would Provide to Potential Clients for Mitigating Their Case?
The first tip that I would give to potential clients is to hire the best attorney that they can afford and one who they are comfortable with. The second tip would be to avoid discussing the case with anyone except their attorney. The third tip would be to not get arrested again, which seems like common sense, but it happens frequently. The prosecutors’ offices in our practice area are very aggressive in terms of trying to revoke a person’s bond if they’ve committed a new offense.
Cam Law is here to answer any criminal law questions. Give our office a call to set up an appointment 770-608-2890.