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Man | How to Choose a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Handcuffed Person _ What Happens if You Are Charged with a Felony

Jun 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense, Q&A

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Question: I think I might be charged with a felony. What should I expect will happen to me?

If you face a felony charge outside of Arkansas, check the specific laws in your jurisdiction. In Arkansas, expect the following if charged with a felony:

  1. Law enforcement may arrest you, with or without a warrant.

2. You will be either held in jail or released on bond, typically between $2,500.00 and $5,000.00. It is crucial to prioritize hiring a lawyer over a bail bondsman, as a bail bondsman provides temporary freedom compared to the potential for permanent freedom with proper legal representation.

 3. Attend an arraignment, where you will receive formal charges and a “felony information” paper outlining the specifics of the charges. Your attorney will plead not guilty on your behalf.

4. Receive a court appearance date and remember that failure to appear can result in up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.00, regardless of the outcome of the original charge. It is essential to be present at all court appearances.  

5. Your lawyer will file a motion for discovery to obtain all evidence the state has against you before the next court appearance.

6. Once your lawyer has the evidence, they can assess the strength of the case and provide legal advice and representation. Remember not to speak to the police without a lawyer present; hire an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer will help you navigate the legal system and strive for the best possible outcome. If you cannot afford a private lawyer, the court will appoint a public defender.

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