The very first appearance you will make on a criminal case is called the Arraignment. The Arraignment is where the Judge will read you your rights, and the charges against you. You will also have to make a few decisions at this first appearance. The prosecutor will speak to you and make you a plea bargain. A plea bargain is an offer for your guilty plea. Generally the prosecutor will cut you a break in some aspect of the sentencing in exchange for you to give up your right to go to trial and to enter a plea of guilty.
If you are not a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney, it is difficult to determine whether the offer being made really is cutting you a break, or whether it is pressure on you to conclude your case and prematurely enter a guilty plea. Further it is difficult to determine whether you should enter a plea of guilty, or if you should move forward in the criminal process before entering any type of plea. This is why it is so important to consult with a Los Angeles Criminal Defense attorney and let them handle your case for you. The knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at Hoffman and Associates are well versed in criminal law and have over thirty years of experience in the courtroom. They know precisely when a plea bargain is a good deal based on the facts of your case, and when they should hold out for Pre Trial (the next step in the criminal process). In addition, they can likely predict what the plea bargain will be before it is even made, based upon their experience of that specific Judge and courtroom.
At the Arraignment, you will also have explained to you, the right to an attorney. If you wish to have an attorney, but did not get one prior to the arraignment, the Judge will grant you a continuance to be able to retain someone. If this is something you wish to do, you should take advantage of the continuance and protect your rights. A Los Angeles criminal attorney can appear on your behalf in most cases. This helps you stay focused on the things that really matter in your life, like work and family. Going to court can’t be a stressful thing. Having a professional in your corner can help you avoid this stress all together. They will go to court for you and fill you in as to what happened after the fact. This way, you can continue with your life, without taking time off of work, or having to deal with figuring out where to go and what to do in Court.