Have you or a loved one just been arrested? Curious what happens next? Fort Lauderdale Criminal Attorney Mark Lowryis a former prosecutor and experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your charges and determine the best way to fight them. We will sit down with you for a free consultation and discuss your rights and possible outcomes to help you understand the entire process.
If the case begins by arrest, the arrestee is brought to the county jail to be booked. Florida law requires you be seen before a first appearance judge within 24 hours of being arrested, unless good cause can be shown that more time is needed (i.e., hurricane). At this hearing is the defendant, often times by television from the jail, a prosecutor, the defense attorney, and the judge. The Court will first determine whether probable cause exists for the crimes charged by the charging document, often times called the probable cause affidavit or arrest report. These documents state the alleged facts law enforcement used to arrest and charge the defendant. The Court may allow argument from the defense attorney and prosecutor and decide on each allegation charged. The Court may find probable cause for each crime alleged, none whatsoever, or any single crime if many are charged. If probable cause is found for at least one crime alleged, the Court can either release the defendant on his own recognizance (ROR), meaning a promise to appear at future court dates; release him to pretrial services (PTR), meaning not having to post a bond but instead having to report to a pretrial officer every week or so; or set an appropriate bond and conditions of release will be set (unless a capital offense or one so serious the State has requested no bond). If no probable cause is found, the judge may either release the defendant with a notice to appear in the future or allow the State to correct, or “cure” the defect within 24 hours. If the defendant is released the case is not dismissed. He will be given a notice to appear if the State files charges, but will be released without having to post a bond.
If you or someone you love has been cited or arrested for anything, contact criminal attorney Mark Lowry immediately to help understand the criminal process and how to move forward. We offer affordable payment plans and 24 hour service 7 days a week.