One of the worst feelings in the world is to be wrongly accused of a crime. In the United States, the rights of citizens are protected and you are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. Too often, however, people are charged with crimes that they did not commit. When this occurs, you need the help of an experienced attorney to assist in defending against these charges. The entire legal process can seem daunting to those who are unfamiliar with it. If you have been arrested, the first thing that will happen is a first hearing. During this proceeding the formal charges will be brought against you and the judge will determine bail.

The Importance of the First Hearing

The first hearing is a very important proceeding. You should strive to have legal representation at this court appearance. Your attorney will review the details of the case and will present your immediate defense. In many cases, if there is insufficient evidence to proceed with the case, it may be dropped or the charges may be reduced. This typically won’t happen unless you have a qualified criminal defense attorney at your side. Another thing that will happen at the first hearing is that the judge will set bail. Your attorney will be instrumental in getting you out of jail on reduced bail or may be successful in eliminating bail completely. Some of the factors that will determine bail include:

  • The severity of the crime
  • The number of crimes being charged
  • Whether you have a previous criminal record
  • Your standing in the community


Choosing an Attorney to Represent You

If you are innocent of the charges you’ll need to have an experienced attorney present your defense. Your lawyer will review all the details of your case to be certain of having all of the pertinent information necessary to proceed in court. Your lawyer may return to the scene of the crime or accident, interview witnesses, review video, and do whatever is necessary to try to defend your rights. Unfortunately, even some innocent people are convicted of crimes they did not commit. This can happen more often to those who have chosen not to hire an attorney. You definitely need someone in your corner to prove your innocence when it’s needed the most. This is not the time to try to defend yourself. Depending on the crime, convictions may include jail time, fines, and probation. A conviction will be on your record and may prevent you from getting future employment.

Getting the Help You Need

The best time to seek legal representation is immediately following your arrest. The sooner you get your attorney involved in the case the more helpful he will be in successfully resolving your case. Provide your attorney with as much information as possible. Acting quickly can often prove to help your case immensely. If you are in jail, your attorney will make efforts to get your bail reduced so you can get out. The attorney will work with your relatives to let them know the procedures in place for posting bail or for seeking a bail bondsman. The key to the possible success of your case is to quickly hire a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in your area.